“While the 1.8% year-on-year increase in rents nationally is the smallest increase since 2012, given the fact that there was little movement in the quarter as a result the emergency Covid-19 restrictions, this was to be expected. Looking at the longer-term picture, rents have grown 62% since Q2 2012. In the context of this, an increase of 1.8% is still not a sign of a more affordable rental market. Conversely, if rents were to decrease at a rate of 1.8% per year, it would take almost 30 years for rents to return to 2012 levels.
“Moreover, a decrease in rents, while always welcome, will not always have a significant impact on renters. The decrease of 0.6% between Q1 and Q2 means a renter has a potential €262.56 more in their pocket each year – this doesn’t even cover one month’s groceries for a family of two adults and one child. The pressure on renters remains, and the increase in rents outside Dublin by 3.4% year-on-year is a concern.
“On a positive note, the moratoriums on evictions and rent increases do appear to have had some impact in at least stabilising rents. The increased security and rent certainty for tenants appears to have resulted in reduced turnover in the private rented sector and a reduction in homelessness.”
In its Pre-Budget Submission, published last week, Threshold called on government to build on the success of these emergency measures by reintroducing the moratoriums on evictions and rent increases while availing of every opportunity to increase affordable supply. Since the moratorium on evictions has ended, the number of tenants facing eviction has returned to pre-Covid-19 levels. This is not a sign of a modern, functioning rental sector.
“Homeless prevention is cheaper than emergency homeless accommodation, avoids unnecessary human misery and is the morally appropriate response to homelessness,” McCafferty continued. “As the country enters an economic recession, at the very least we need to see the re-introduction of the moratoriums on evictions and rent increases, to stem the flow of renters into homelessness.”