Maynooth and Cobh added to 4% rent cap list
Stillorgan, Dundrum, Killiney and Howth no longer meet criteria but remain in zones
Maynooth University in Maynooth, Kildare, which has been included on the 4 per cent rent cap list. Photograph: Eric Luke
Minister for Housing Simon Coveney said the latest Residential Tenancies Board “Rent Index” identified the areas as “Rental Pressure Zones”, where rents were above average and rising rapidly.
Mr Coveney said more than 60 per cent of rented homes in the State were now covered by the protection measures, which limit increases to 4 per cent a year.
The Minister last year designated Dublin and Cork city as pressure zones and in January added a further 12 local electoral areas – incorporating some 26 towns and villages around the cities of Dublin, Cork and Galway.
Mr Coveney said the Cobh and Maynooth electoral areas had been selected because they met two key criteria – rents were above the national average and rising at a rate of more than 7 per cent in at least four of the last six quarters.
He stressed the independence of the rent pressure system and said he could only make a designation if identified by the rent index.
Mr Coveney said he was “not de-designating” local electoral areas which in the latest report no longer meet the criteria as pressure zones.
These include the Cork City South West electoral area where average residential rents were 107.3 per cent of the national average, but where the increase was only greater than 7 per cent in one of the last six quarters.
It also included Stillorgan, Mulhuddart and Howth-Malahide electoral areas in Dublin. While the average rent in Stillorgan was more than twice the national average at €2,062 per month, rents there had not risen by 7 per cent for at least four of the last six quarters.
Asked about the discrepancy, Mr Coveney said all of Dublin city and county and Cork city had been previously designated as rent protection zones.
Mr Coveney said the pressure zones had not been in place for very long and it was possibly too early to consider de-designation and the matter would be kept under review.
However, the Louth Fine Gael TD Fergus O’Dowd, who attended the publication of the index, said he believed the criteria were flawed.
He said the index showed actual rents increasing consistently in all areas of Drogheda, while the average rent was said to have fallen. “It doesn’t make sense,” he said.
Referring to the prospect of a simple State-wide limit, Mr Coveney said he knew of no jurisdiction where a “blanket” limit on rental increases had been imposed. He said such a feature would not be fair as places “like Glenties” in Co Donegal, had comparatively low rents and the market should be allowed to price in a correction without interference.
“The Rental Protection Zones are not perfect”, he said, but offer “certainty” for people living in areas of rapidly escalating demand.
Rent Protection Zones which are entire electoral areas:
* Dublin City and County
* Cork City
The local electoral areas of :
* Ballincollig-Carrigaline, Co Cork
*Galway City Central
* Galway City East
* Galway City West
* Celbridge-Leixlip, Co Kildare
* Naas, Co Kildare
* Ashbourne Co Meath
* Laytown-Bettystown, Co Meath
* Ratoath, Co Meath
* Bray , Co Wicklow
* Wicklow, Co Wicklow
* Cobh Co Cork
* Maynooth Co Kildare
There are more than 25 towns included in these local electoral areas including, Sallins, Rathagan, Slane, Julianstown, Duleek, Dunboyne, Dunshaughlin, Enniskerry, Douglas and Passage West, Carrigaline and Straffan.
Local Electoral Areas no longer meeting key criteria but not yet de-designated as pressure zones:
* Galway City East
* Cork City South West
*Killiney - Shankill