Rents rose by over 7% in the first quarter of the year, but the rate of increase has slowed.

But the Residential Tenancy Board (RTB) said it’s still too early to say if the slowdown is linked to the introduction by the Government last year of rent pressure zones (RPZs) — a move which capped hikes in high-rent areas.

The first figures since the introduction of RPZs, show while rent rates in Dublin dropped slightly in the first quarter of the year compared to the same period last year, the capital’s rental rates are still running at 8% above their late 2007 peak.

Private renters in other major cities, including parts of Cork and Galway, are also paying up to 8% above the average national rent which now stands at €987 a month — up €1 on the previous quarter.

Other key findings show:

  • Overall rents in the capital fell 1.5%, mainly due to a fall in apartment rents;
  • House rents in the capital rose quarter-on-quarter by 0.1%;
  • There is evidence that year-on-year growth in apartment rent increases in Dublin has slowed — the rate of increase is down from double-digits to just under 8%;
  • Outside Dublin, rents are up an average of 1.3% quarter-on-quarter, with an annual rise of 7.6%;
  • Rents outside the capital are still 8% below their 2007 peak but the margin between the two is closing.

However, while rents nationally continue to trend upwards, the data shows that quarterly growth was relatively flat, increasing by just 0.1%, down from 2.8% the previous quarter.

RTB director, Rosalind Carroll, said the findings for the first quarter of 2017 suggest the rate of increase in private rents is moderating.

The new figures show no additional parts of the country meet the criteria to be designated RPZs.

Former housing minister (now foreign affairs) Simon Coveney will today launch a public consultation on the review of the rent predictability measure and the RPZs system.

Meanwhile, a report by the Central Bank says house prices — which are expected to rise by a further 10% this year — are “not currently overvalued”.

More on this topic

Government expected to oppose nationwide rent freeze and tax relief proposalsGovernment expected to oppose nationwide rent freeze and tax relief proposals

Varadkar dismisses rent freeze despite renters paying higher amounts than at height of boomVaradkar dismisses rent freeze despite renters paying higher amounts than at height of boom

Rents €400 more per month than during Celtic TigerRents €400 more per month than during Celtic Tiger

Anger as cheapest room in new student accommodation in Cork to cost €228 per weekAnger as cheapest room in new student accommodation in Cork to cost €228 per week


Lifestyle

As David Attenborough announces new series on plants, we run down some of the weird and wonderful vegetation he might include.11 bizarre plant species from around the world

The weather’s always going to be a key factor on any wedding day — but especially so when the bride works for Met Éireann, writes Eve Kelliher.Wedding of the week: Bride and groom are literally on cloud nine

My wife and I are in our fifties and she has just started using porn. She thinks it will enhance our sex life if we watch it together, but I find the idea a total turn-off.Suzi Godson's Sex Advice: My wife wants us to watch porn together?

As you probably have heard by now, changes to the rules concerning gift vouchers in Ireland came into effect earlier this month, giving consumers more rights when it comes to these popular items.Making Cents: Play your cards right when giving gift vouchers this Christmas

More From The Irish Examiner