Coveney announces further Rent Pressure Zones and launches expanded Residential Tenancies Board Rent Index Report
Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government, Simon Coveney, T.D., signed Orders today (29 March 2017) designating Maynooth, Co Kildare and Cobh, Co Cork as Rent Pressure Zones (RPZs). The Orders take effect tomorrow, 30 March, 2017.
Speaking at the launch of the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) expanded Rent Index Report the Minister commented that the report “represents a major innovation, the result of close collaboration between the RTB and the ESRI, which will give us a significantly more detailed understanding of market behaviour in the rental sector. Following on from the introduction of Rent Pressure Zones at the end of last year, the methodology for producing the rent index has been revised and developed so that we can now use the RTB data to calculate and monitor changes in average rents at the level of Local Electoral Areas.”
The provision of more refined data allows for more specific targeting of the Rent Pressure Zone measure to other areas of the country where severe pressures are being experienced. Welcoming the expanded report the Minister praised the work of the RTB and ESRI in developing the new methodology allowing for the RPZ measure to properly target those areas facing the most severe pressures.
Rent pressure zones were introduced with immediate effect last December across the four Dublin Local Authority areas and in Cork City. On the 26th of January, the Minister made an Order designating a further 12 Local Electoral Areas as rent pressure zones in parts of counties Cork, Galway, Kildare, Meath and Wicklow. Further designations today continue to build on the commitment made in the Rental Strategy to provide for rent predictability. The Housing Agency will continue to monitor the market and make recommendations that further areas be considered for designation as rent pressure zones as appropriate.
Following the designation of Maynooth and Cobh as rent pressure zones; some 57% of tenancies nationally are now located in rent pressure zones. The Minister advised that “the practical effect of these measures is that more than 186,000 households who currently rent their homes in these areas now know exactly what maximum rent they will have to pay over the next three years.”
The Minister reaffirmed his commitment to carry out a review of the Rent Predictability provisions in June this year. Highlighting that “at that point, the provisions will have been in place for 6 months and it will be possible to ascertain their effectiveness and whether any changes need to be made to, for example, the qualifying criteria or the designation process. Where changes are deemed necessary on foot of this review, they will be implemented as a matter of priority.”
The expanded rent index report will be available at www.rtb.ie