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News : Property Last Updated: Mar 21, 2014 - 7:33 AM

Irish House Rents: Dublin rents up 2.1% in Q4 2013; Down 0.9% ex-Dublin
By Finfacts Team
Mar 20, 2014 - 8:21 AM

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The latest Irish Quarterly Rent Index of the Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB), a State agency, covering Quarter 4 of 2013, compiled by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), shows continued strong growth in Dublin Rents of 2.1% for the quarter, while outside Dublin rents in the fourth quarter dropped by 0.9%. The final quarter of the year is typically slower in the rental market, following the annual peak in quarter three.

However, on an annual basis this means that rents in Dublin grew by 7.6%, comparing Q4 of 2013 to Q4 of 2012. In Dublin rents for apartments were up by as much as 10.5% between Q1 and Q4 2013, while house rents in the capital rose by 6.6% over the same period.  In contrast, the market outside Dublin was more subdued, with ‘outside Dublin’ showing an increase of 1.1%, comparing Q4 of 2013 with Q4 of 2012.  Some of the bigger urban areas outside of Dublin (eg Cork and Galway) saw modest increases while in many areas outside of Dublin rents declined

The Irish rental market experienced a peak to trough decline of 26% between 2007 and 2012. While the peak-to-trough in the Dublin market was similar to that experienced nationally, the growth in rents in Dublin (mainly in 2013) means that rents are now 15.5% lower than their peak.

These findings come from the latest Quarterly Rent Index of the Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB) covering Quarter 4, 2013, which is compiled for it by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI). It is claimed to be the most accurate and authoritative rent report of its kind on the private accommodation sector in Ireland because it reflects the actual rents being paid, according to the PRTB’s records, as distinct from the asking or advertised rent, which is the basis of other rent reports.

At a national level, monthly rent levels were broadly unchanged in the fourth quarter of 2013. Looking at trends in more detail, monthly rents for houses were lower in the fourth quarter when compared to Quarter 3, down by 1.5% quarter on quarter. In contrast, rents for apartments were 1.9% higher than in Quarter 3, 2013. 

The sub-indices show that the national increase continues to reflect differences in the rental market between Dublin and the rest of the country. Rents in Dublin grew by 2.1% when compared with the third quarter of 2013. While rents for houses in Dublin increased by 0.8%, rents for Dublin apartments rose by 3.1% compared to Quarter 3, 2013.

Outside Dublin, in common with previous quarters, the indices show a mixed picture. The indices show that, for properties outside Dublin, rents in Q4, when compared with the third quarter of the year, were down by 0.9%. Rents for houses outside Dublin recorded a quarterly decline of 2%. The index for apartment rents outside Dublin, however, recorded a quarterly increase of 1.6% in Q4.

In recent years rental growth has weakened in the fourth quarter, following high activity levels in Q3, consistent with the demand for student accommodation in that time period. These latest numbers for Q4 2013 are in line with these previous trends.

On an annual basis, nationally, rents were 3.3% higher than in Q4 2012. The differing performance by location and property type evident in the quarterly change is also present in the annual rates of change.  Nationally, rents for houses were 1.6% higher, while apartment rents were 5.2% higher than in the same quarter of 2012. Annual growth in the Dublin market was stronger, up by 7.6%, with Dublin house rents up by 6.4% and Dublin apartment rents higher by 8%.

In contrast, annual growth in rents for the market outside Dublin was more subdued, recording growth of 1.1% when compared to Q4 2012. Again the performance differs by property type. The rent for houses outside Dublin increased by 0.2%, while apartments outside Dublin experienced an increase of 3%.

Looking at the monetary level of rents, the average national rent for a house in Q4 in 2013 was €744; in Dublin, it averaged €1,168 and outside Dublin it was €608. The average apartment rent across the whole country in Q4 of 2013 was €844; in Dublin, it averaged €1,070, while outside Dublin it was €630.

The PRTB website www.prtb.ie (click on “rent index”) also contains an Average Rent Dataset which enables people to check the average rent being paid for five different categories of dwelling types throughout the country, in both urban and rural areas. This enables people to check what is the actual rent being paid for, say, a semi-detached house or a two-bed apartment in their neighbourhood, and in other parts of the country.

Commenting on the Rent Index findings, Anne Marie Caulfield, director of the PRTB,  said: “The latest PRTB / ESRI Rent Index continues to reflect a story of significant rent rises in the Dublin region, while the ‘outside Dublin’ market remains much more subdued. For instance, in Dublin apartment rents rose by 10.5% between Q1 and Q 4 last year, while house rents rose by 6.6% in the same period. Outside Dublin, however, the rents for houses showed a slight decline (0.4%) over the year”.

All landlords are legally obliged to register tenancies with the board and the number of new registrations with the PRTB in 2013 was 114,405. Apartments accounted for the majority of these registrations at 46%, with the next largest share by property type accounted for by semi-detached at 26.3%. Dublin city and county represents the largest market for apartment rentals, accounting for 53% of all apartments.

The Index is of assistance for a range of Government purposes, including housing policy generally and informing the Department of Social Protection’s Rent Supplement scheme. It is also an important reference document in landlord/tenant disputes on rent.  It was developed in consultation and co-operation with landlord representative groups such as the Irish Property Owners Association, irishlandlord.com, the Institute of Professional Auctioneers and Valuers, the Society of Chartered Surveyors of Ireland, and tenant representative groups such as Threshold and USI (Union of Students in Ireland).

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