Rents increase by 9% across new tenancies, RTB figures show

Watchdog records 48% drop in number of new tenancies registered in last quarter of 2021

Rents increased by an average 9 per cent across the country in the final quarter of last year, as the number of new tenancies dropped significantly, according to latest figures from the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB).

The rental market watchdog’s quarterly price index of new tenancies put the national standardised average rent at €1,415, with average rents ranging from €1,972 a month in Dublin to €740 in Leitrim.

There was a 48 per cent drop in the number of new tenancies registered with the RTB in the last three months of 2021, compared with the same period in 2020, down to 9,350 new tenancies.

The 9 per cent increase in rents across new tenancies during the three months was the highest year-on-year jump in average rents since late 2017.

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The increase in rental costs in Dublin closely followed the national rate at a 8.9 per cent jump, compared with the last quarter of 2020.

The RTB report said the average cost of a one-bed house in Dublin of €1,500 per month was now more than €200 more expensive than the rent of a four-bed home outside of the capital, which averaged at €1,266 a month.

Average rents for new tenancies registered in Roscommon between October and December 2021 increased by more than 12 per cent on the previous quarter, while average rents in Galway dropped by 11.2 per cent since the third quarter of last year.

Decline in new tenancies

The report raised concern that the number of new tenancies being registered “declined notably in all areas” during the final three months of 2021, which it warned could lead to market volatility in counties with lower numbers of rental properties.

In Dublin the highest rents were in the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council area at €2,173 a month, compared with average rents of €1,836 in Fingal County Council. Average rent in Cork city was €1,392 per month and €1,130 a month in Cork county, while average rent in Galway city was €1,293.

The greater Dublin area accounted for just over half of all new rental tenancies registered with the RTB in the quarter. Nearly four out of five new tenancies in Dublin during the period were apartments, the report said.

The RTB’s standardised average rent varied from €1,162 per month for a one-bedroom house up to €1,536 for a house with four or more bedrooms.

The rental market watchdog noted inflationary pressures on prices were highest for three-bed homes, where rents were 9.4 per cent higher than a year ago.

Jack Power

Jack Power

Jack Power is a reporter with The Irish Times