The cost of rent in Galway county increased 5% in 2020

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The cost of rent in Galway county went up by 5% over the course of 2020, while rental prices in the city increased 2% last year.

The latest quarterly Rent Index Report from the Residential Tenancies Board shows that the average standardised cost of renting a property in the county was €1,105.96 in Q4 of 2020, up from €1,053.07 in the same period of 2019.

The average cost of rent in the city during the same period was €1,163.36, up from €1,143.27 in Q4 of 2019.

While there was a year-on-year increase in the cost of renting in the city and county, both areas also showed a significant quarterly drop in prices in Q4.

The average cost of renting in the county was down 5.7% over the last three months of 2020 compared with Q3, while prices in the city recorded an even more drastic quarterly shift of -7.9%.

Padraig McGoldrick, Interim Director of the RTB said that the impact of COVID-19 continues to be keenly felt in the rental sector, adding that there was a “significant trend of moderation” in the inflation of rental prices in 2020 compared with previous years.

Nationwide, rents showed a 2.7% year-on-year increase in Q4 2020, compared with a 6.4% increase recorded in the same quarter of 2019. The national average cost of rent is now slightly over €1,250.

“While there has been a definite trend in moderation in rent levels, it is clear affordability issues and related risks remain. We understand that Covid-19 presents many challenges and adjustments for those operating and living in the rental sector.

“We continue to encourage those who are experiencing issues in their tenancies to keep lines of communication open and if they still cannot resolve their dispute to contact the RTB for support and information on how to resolve these matters.”

He also highlighted that protections for both tenants and landlords introduced for the pandemic remain in place.

“The Planning and Development, and Residential Tenancies, Act 2020, enacted in December 2020 provides protections for tenants who are financially impacted by Covid 19, in rent arrears and at risk of losing their tenancy.”

“It also introduced protections for landlords who have been financially impacted by Covid-19 as well as their tenant’s ability to pay rent.”

“The Residential Tenancies Act 2020 introduced temporary protections for tenants where they cannot be made to leave their rental accommodation, except for limited circumstances, any time there are restrictions on travel outside a 5-kilometre radius of a person’s home.”

These protective measures are currently set to remain in place until April 15 of this year.

Galway was one of just eight counties with average standardised rents of more than €1,000 in the last quarter of the year, along with Cork, Dublin, Kildare, Limerick, Louth, Meath, and Wicklow