Thursday 17 January 2019

Inflation eases but cost of renting home at record level of €1,122 a month

Government admits it has delivered half of social houses promised

Rosalind Carroll: Rent pressure zones rules having an impact. Photo: Colm Mahady/Fennells
Rosalind Carroll: Rent pressure zones rules having an impact. Photo: Colm Mahady/Fennells

Charlie Weston and Paul Melia

Rental costs are continuing to rise but there has been a easing off in the rate of the increase.

The cost of accommodation remains at record highs.

Rent pressure zones, where rises are restricted by law, have slowed the pace of rent increases for existing tenancies. However, the Government admitted that less than half of all new social homes promised for delivery this year have been completed.

Figures from the State's Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) show the cost of renting was €78 a month higher on average across the country in the three months to September.

Average

The national average rent was €1,122 a month.

The board's index indicates that rental inflation was running at 1.9pc this year, down from 3.6pc in the April-to-June period.

The average rent for Dublin was €1,620, representing an increase of €141 from the third quarter of last year.

Dublin growth accelerated to an annualised 9.5pc, up from 8.9pc in the April to June period of this year. And the latest index shows the numbers of landlords falling despite high rental prices and record demand.

The RTB recorded almost 1,800 fewer landlords this year, compared with 2015. And there was a decline of 8,829 in the number of tenancies.

Director of the RTB Rosalind Carroll said affordability remained an issue. She said continued economic growth, job creation and population rises were increasing demand

"The rate of rent inflation slowed this quarter somewhat, and which we will continue to monitor in the months ahead," Ms Carroll said.

The fact that the pace of rent increase under existing tenancies is well behind that of new tenancies shows rent pressure zones were working much better within existing tenancies, Ms Carroll said.

Meanwhile, the Government said less than half of all new social homes promised for delivery this year have been completed.

The Department of Housing said 2,369 homes had been completed by local authorities and approved housing bodies up to the end of September, representing 48pc of the annual target.

However, it said delivery would ramp up towards the end of the year and that it expected councils and approved housing bodies to achieve their targets.

"It should be borne in mind that historically we have our greatest build outputs in the final quarter of the year," a spokesman said.

"For example, in 2017 we went from 971 homes at the end of quarter three to 2,297 at the end of year.

"Some 58pc of the 2017 total was completed in the last quarter."

Irish Independent

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