The Department for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government today (15 June 2017) noted new RTB (Residential Tenancies Board) data which shows moderation in rent levels nationally and a small decrease in Dublin. The latest quarterly data is the first set published since the Government introduced new rent predictability measures in December 2016.
The rent predictability measure was introduced to moderate the rise in rents in the parts of the country where rents are highest and rising and where households have greatest difficulties in finding accommodation they can afford. In these areas, called Rent Pressure Zones (RPZs), rents can only increase by a maximum of 4% annually for three years.
The measure was implemented immediately in Dublin and Cork City because they already met the criteria. A further 12 Local Electoral Areas in Galway City and counties Cork, Kildare, Meath and Wicklow were designated as Rent Pressure Zones in January, with the measure extended to Maynooth and Cobh in March.
Rent Pressure Zone designations now cover 57% of tenancies nationally, consisting of over 186,000 households. The practical effect is that those renting homes in these areas now know exactly what maximum rent they will have to pay over the next three years. It is still early days: the new RTB figures today partially reflects the positive impact of the Government’s Strategy for the Rental Sector in moderating inflation in the rental market and providing some needed predictability for tenants and landlords.
“The rent predictability measure was introduced to moderate the rise in rents in the parts of the country where rents are highest and rising and where households have greatest difficulties in finding accommodation they can afford.”
A recent Daft.ie report shows data for Dublin which indicates that the rate of rent price increases has dropped since designation as a Rent Pressure Zone in December 2016. Similarly this morning, the Residential Tenancies Board released its Rent Index Report for Quarter 1 2017. This also shows that the rate of rent increases has slowed nationally and in Dublin, has reversed slightly.
The Department has also announced the launch of a public consultation on the review of the Rent Predictability Measure and the system of Rent Pressure Zones introduced last December. Submissions received from the consultation process will feed into the review of the measure, which is currently underway.
Over the past few months, the outgoing Minister for Housing (Minister Coveney) had signalled that the Department would carry out a review of the Rent Predictability Measure in June 2017. At this stage, the measures will have been in place for 6 months and data from the Residential Tenancies Board’s Rent Index Report for Quarter 1 2017, will also be available. Using this latest data, it will be possible to ascertain the effectiveness of the Rent Predictability Measure and whether any changes need to be made to, for example, the designation process.
While all of this data will be considered during the review, the launch of this consultation process will form an integral part of that review process.
Further details and access to the consultation document is available on the Department’s website.
The consultation will run until 30 June 2017.