Private sector rents increased by 7.37 per cent in the first quarter of 2017, according to the latest Quarterly Rent Index from the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB ).
The survey of private sector rents concerns the year from Quarter One (Q1 ) 2016 to Q1 2017.
The index shows that while rents continue to trend upwards, quarter on quarter growth was relatively flat, increasing by 0.1 per cent. This is down from 2.8 per cent the previous quarter. The standardised average national rent is now €987 per month - up €1 on the fourth quarter of 2016.
Rents in Dublin and surrounding commuter counties are among the highest relative to the national average, with parts of Cork and Galway cities also above the average.
However, overall, rents in Dublin declined this quarter by 1.5 per cent, driven primarily by a fall in rents for Dublin apartments. Private rents for houses continued to rise in this quarter, albeit marginally, by 0.1 per cent.
For apartments, there is evidence of a moderate slowdown in the pace of expansion; year on year growth dropped from double digits to 7.9 per cent. On an annual basis across houses and apartments, rents continued to grow, increasing by 7.37 per cent from Q1 2016 to Q1 2017, with Dublin rents now at 8 per cent above their previous peak at the end of 2007.
Outside Dublin, rents for houses and apartments continued to grow on a quarterly basis, resulting in an overall growth of 1.3 per cent. Rents are still 8 per cent below their peak levels in 2007, however, the margin between the two is shrinking each quarter.
Commenting, director of the RTB, Rosalind Carroll, said: “This index relates to the January to March period of 2017, and therefore is the first rent index looking at the period since rent pressure zones were first introduced. The rent index will be an important tool to monitor the impacts of the new measure.
"The findings for the first quarter do suggest that the rate of increase in private rents is moderating. However, the rental market is still volatile and it is too early to determine if this moderation is a trend. We would like to see similar findings over consecutive quarters in order to identify trends.”