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New ESRI Study Reveals Sitting Tenants Pay Significantly Less Than New Tenants

A recent study conducted by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) has unveiled striking differences in the rent paid by sitting tenants compared to new entrants in the housing market. With significant implications for the broader housing sector, especially in urban areas and for smaller property types, this data sheds light on the evolving dynamics of the private rental market in Ireland.

  • Rent for sitting tenants is 15.2% cheaper than for new tenants in similar property types.
  • ESRI’s new data reveals that sitting tenants pay, on average, €214 less monthly than new tenants in the private market.
  • This difference in rental prices may be due to the rapid rental inflation in newer tenancies, especially in more rural and non-traditional rental markets.
  • Such areas with rapid rental inflation are also observed to have a lower tenancy turnover.
  • Dr. Rachel Slaymaker, the research’s author, highlights that nearly 20% of Irish households rent from private landlords, making this data essential for understanding the sector.
  • The research indicates that rent difference in Dublin is slightly lower at around 13%, while the rest of the country (excluding greater Dublin area) has a difference of 17.3%.
  • The largest rent differences are seen in the north-west, west, and parts of the midlands.
  • Notably, larger properties have greater rent differences, especially in cities like Waterford, Limerick, and Galway.
  • Conversely, in counties like Kerry, Westmeath, and Mayo, the rent gap is highest for one-bedroom properties.
  • The significant gap in prices for one-bedroom properties in certain counties might suggest a shortage of such smaller properties in relation to their demand.
  • The research found that one-bedroom properties are becoming more common among new renters and represent a larger share of the property market.
  • On the other hand, bigger properties, such as three-bedroom houses, are less common in new tenancies than in existing ones.
  • ESRI noted that smaller properties in urban areas are more frequently turned over, hence being over-represented in new tenancy statistics.
  • The study was based on tenancies registered between April-September 2022 and sponsored by the Residential Tenancies Board.
  • For the study’s purpose, existing tenants are those who’ve lived in the same property for over a year.

Research credit: Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) and Dr. Rachel Slaymaker.