Macroom and Carlow Local Electoral Areas will become the latest rent pressure zones from today amid warnings that current levels of rent inflation are “not sustainable”.
The Department of Housing confirmed that Macroom in Co Cork and Carlow town will become the latest RPZs after the latest Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) Rent Index showed that between April and June, both areas met the criteria for inclusion. It brings to 44 the number of RPZs across the country.
The RTB Rent Index covering the second quarter of the year is published today. It shows a 7% annual increase and a 3% quarter-on-quarter rise in national standardised average rent.
According to the analysis, the national standardised average rent was €1,202 a month in the second quarter, while the average rent for Dublin was €1,713 — an increase of €114 compared to the same period in 2018.
The criteria for an area becoming an RPZ is that the annual rate of rent inflation in the area must have been 7% or more in four of the last six quarters and that the rent is above standardised average rent appropriate for that area.
According to the latest figures, year-on-year rental levels in Macroom increased by more than 19% to €915 in the second quarter of this year; over the same period, the average rent rose almost 13% in Carlow to €879.80 a month.
The RTB Rent Index is compiled in conjunction with the Economic and Social Research Institute.
Rosalind Carroll, director of the Residential Tenancies Board, said: “We know RPZs are having an impact at an individual level. The RTB is supporting compliance through public awareness campaigns, online resources, and information.
“However, there is no one quick fix for the rental sector and regulation is only part of the answer. The market is complex, our research illustrates this, and we will be working with the ESRI to gain further insights into the factors driving rent inflation.
“It is really important that landlords and tenants go to www.rtb.ie where they can check if their rental home is in a rent pressure zone and what rent can be charged.”
The homeless crisis shows little sign of easing with 10,275 people in emergency accommodation in July, the sixth month in a row there were more than 10,000 people deemed homeless.
The average rental level across different local electoral areas varied considerably, from €2,328 in Stillorgan in Dublin to €489 in Lifford-Stranorlar, Co Donegal. The increase over the course of the year in Dublin was 7.1%.
Ms Carroll said: “While the pace of rental growth has slowed since our last quarterly report, the continued growth levels over consecutive quarters is not sustainable.
“The average national rent at this point is now 21% higher than the peak in [the fourth quarter of 2007] and the Dublin average rent is 32% higher than the peak.”
Since July 1, the RTB has increased powers to investigate and sanction non-compliance with RPZ measures and Ms Carroll said first investigations under these new powers have now been officially commenced.