Tuesday 28 January 2020

Better rent information now offered by PRTB

These PRTB figures signal caution not alone for tenants and investors but also for home buyers

Donal Buckley

Donal Buckley

TENANTS, landlords and prospective residential investors now have an even more accurate device for finding the average rental levels for all different types of properties in their target localities following the launch of the the PRTB Rental Index by the Private Residential Tenancies Board.

Not alone does its website show recent rental trends but it also shows average rents in districts and towns for a range of properties ranging from flats to detached houses.

It is much more useful than Daft's quarterly rental survey which lumps all house types together according to the number of bedrooms without distinguishing whether these are apartments, terraced or semi-detached houses.

A dip into the PRTB search engine threw up some interesting differences with some of rents shown by Daft. For example in Dublin 4 Daft recorded the highest rents in the country in the first three months of this year ranging from €1,037 for a one bedroom unit up to €4,700 per month for a five-bedroom home. In between these, Daft shows a two-bedroom property in D4 as averaging €1,483 per month.

On the other hand PRTB's survey shows a two-bedroom apartment in D4 averages €1,318 per month and these range from €1,162 in Ringsend up to €1,407 in Ballsbridge. So a person seeking to rent in Ringsend might find themselves paying too much if they were to base their budget on Daft's survey. PRTB's Ringsend rent is 24pc cheaper than what Daft reports for the whole of D4.

According to Daft, one of the cheapest areas in Dublin is Dublin 10 where a two-bedroom home averages €879 per month. In this case the two surveys are much closer to each other. PRTB says that in Ballyfermot a two-bedroom home averages €855pm.

In another south Dublin area, Daft shows two-bedroom units in Dublin 18 at €883 per month, whereas the PRTB shows two-bedroom apartments in D18 at €1,118, as much as €235 higher.

The PRTB says its figures are the most accurate and authoritative in the private accommodation sector in Ireland based on the board's register of over 277,000 tenancies throughout the State.

Considering that Daft's figures are based on asking rents, it's not altogether surprising that most of its figures should be higher than those actual rents recorded by PRTB. This may also explain why Daft's rental trends are also higher than those of the PRTB.

For instance, Daft reported that nationally rents showed an average increase of 2.7pc over the 12 months to the end of April, in contrast to the PRTB which said the increase was only 2pc in the year to the end of March and in Dublin the increase was 2.3pc. Daft recorded that rents in Dublin had risen by double that rate – up 5pc.

Furthermore, the PRTB points out that rents in Dublin fell 1.9pc in the first quarter of 2013, compared with the final quarter of 2012. This is due to a weakening of Dublin apartment rents, which declined by 3.9pc. Outside Dublin, rents grew by 1.7pc in Q1, having fallen in the fourth quarter of 2012.

These PRTB figures signal caution not alone for tenants and investors but also for home buyers. Despite the rake of impositions on landlords, there are signs that cash buyers are snapping up bargains in the residential market.

No doubt the end of 2013 deadline for buying investment properties which will benefit from a capital gains tax relief is also motivating investors.

So home buyers are having to compete with them in locations where there is demand for rental properties.

Daft reports that the numbers of rental properties in the national market fell by a third to 11,000 in the last year while the numbers in Dublin at 2,000 in April is one of the lowest in the last six years. While this suggests that upward pressure on rents may continue, the PRTB figures for Dublin seem to suggest that they may have peaked.

It remains to be seen whether this may be due to consumer resistance to the high rents in the more sought after areas of Dublin. Or are factors such as emigration and first-time buyer activity reducing rental demand.

Price resistance may well be reflected in adult children moving back with their parents or indeed prospective tenants moving to less sought after areas. The latter may help to generate a ripple effect and spread property market stability to the commuter areas.

Irish Independent

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