Pandemic may have fuelled higher rent increases outside Dublin

Increase in remote working appears to have had knock-on effect

The Residential Tenancies Board figures indicate that the cost of renting a home outside of Dublin increased by 7%  between March 2020 and March 2021, and by 2%  in the capital

The Residential Tenancies Board figures indicate that the cost of renting a home outside of Dublin increased by 7% between March 2020 and March 2021, and by 2% in the capital

 

The numbers of people quitting Dublin during the pandemic has spurred rent increases elsewhere, according to the latest figures from the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) .

Rents out outside of Dublin rose 7 per cent between March 2020 and March 2021, compared with 2 per cent in the capital, said the interim director of the RTB Padraig McGoldrick.

The increases outside of Dublin could be the “start of a potential trend of people moving outside of urban centres” as a result of being able increasingly to work out of the office, he said.

The average monthly cost of renting a home is €1,320 over the first three months of this year, a rise of €33. The average Dublin rent is now €1,820 per month, while the lowest is in Leitrim at €596 per month.

The highest rents are now in Stillorgan, at €2,378 monthly, while Stranorlar, Co Donegal is just €566 per month. Kilkenny is now seeing the biggest jumps, rising 12.3 per cent, while Clare, Galway and Mayo all saw 10 per cent jumps

Fewer tenancies were registered with the RTB, though the agency indicated that this may be due to public health restrictions during the height of the pandemic last year.

Responding, the Institute of Professional Auctioneers & Valuers (IPAV) wondered how rents outside of Dublin could rise by 7 per cent when rent pressure zone (RPZs ) in many such places limit increases to 4 per cent.

The Residential Tenancies Board cannot differentiate between first-time lets or those not rented for the previous two years and “new tenancy agreements in properties previously rented”, said IPAV chief executive Pat Davitt.

“Landlords offering properties for rent for the first time are free to charge whatever rent they can achieve on the first rental, even though the property may be inside a designated RPZ area.

“Rent levels on such properties could be way out of line with new rent agreements that are subject to RPZ rules. We simply don’t know,” he said, adding that the lack of data was creating confusion.