Monday 22 July 2019

Cork rents increase by nearly 10%

Bill Browne

New figures contained in a report for the first quarter of this year have revealed that the average rent charged across the county had increased by 3.1 per cent over the three-month period.

The latest Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) Rent Index showed that, as April drew to a close, the standardised average rent in Cork County stood at €1,053 per month, compared to €1021 at the end of the final quarter of last year.

The latest figure represented a 9.9-per-cent rise in rents when compared to the first quarter of 2018, when the standardised rent charged in Cork stood at €959.

As of quarter one, Cork was among only six counties across the country where average rents exceeded the €1,000 mark, the other being Dublin and the so-called 'commuter counties' around the capital of Wicklow, Kildare, Meath and Louth. 

Broken down in to the 10 Local Electoral Areas (LEA) covering the county, the figures contained within the index showed that the Carrigaline LEA was the most expensive to rent at €1,120. Cobh came next at €1,035 followed by Bandon-Kinsale (€1,000), Midleton (€918), Macroom (€870), Mallow (€844), Fermoy (843), Kanturk (€779), Skibbereen/West Cork (€731) and Bantry/West Cork (€654). 

The index showed that the average rent charged in Cork City at the close of quarter one stood at €1,158, an increase of 2.2 per cent on the final quarter figure for 2018 of €1,133.

The Q1 figure represented a year-on-year increase in the city of 7.1 per cent. Nationally, the standardised average monthly rent in Q1 was €1,169, which represented a quarterly of 2.1 per cent and year-on-year increase of 8.3 per cent. 

Dublin had the highest standardised average rents during quarter four of €1,662, with Leitrim the lowest at €537 per month. 

Meanwhile, news that Fermoy and Midleton have been added to the list of  'rent pressure zones' in Cork, has been given a guarded welcome by Cork East Sinn Fein TD Pat Buckley. 

A Rent Pressure Zone (RPZ) is a designated area where rents cannot be increased in new and existing tenancies by more than four per cent per annum.

Deputy Buckley said that while he welcomed the inclusion of Fermoy and Midleton in the RPZ scheme it was "closing the gate after the horse has bolted." 

"Rents are already at an unaffordable level for many young people and families in East and North Cork, and more needs to be done to address this," said Deputy Buckley. 

The regional head of Threshold, Edel Conlon, said other areas in Cork where continue to rise, such as Mallow and Macroom, also need to be included in the RPZ scheme.