The rent controls introduced in late 2016 are strict. If a tenancy ends the landlord may only let it again for 4% above the previous rent. The exception is when serious renovations have been carried out of course.
What do this prices have in common? Dividing them by 1.04 will give you a number that ends in two zeroes, almost certainly the previous prevailing rent.
Note that even if a landlord had held rent well below prevailing values for several years, she is not allowed to let it for the market value when the tenancy ends. Just the previous rent plus 4%.
A stark example of this is two nearby properties in Orwell Woods, Rathgar.
No 6 Orwell Woods has three bed and two baths and is advertised at €2500.
A nearby property (number not shown) in Orwell Woods has three beds and one bath and is advertisedfor €1924, which is coincidentally exactly equal to €1850*1.04.
The second example has no interior photos and one less bathroom. But the law of one price is the law of one price. And near-identical properties in the same location rarely let for 23% less than each other.
What does this mean? Certain landlords are getting far less than the true market value for their property. And even if market prices freeze at 2017 levels, will still take 4 to 5 years of 4%pa increases to get back to where they should be.
It is a transfer of a five-figure sum of wealth from landlord to one lucky tenant. The problem is how does she choose? Unsuccessful applicants from the first example will presumably be interested in the second. Demand is still somewhat elastic, and housing costing a fifth or so less than surrounding ones will achieve spectacular levels of interest.
If am not familiar enough with the legislation to know if it prohibits all sorts of ancillary fees and charges to bridge the gap between the legal rent and the market one. I would not be surprised if there is a lot of creativity in this space in the next few years.