Belfast Telegraph

‘Radical action’ urged to improve rental market

According to the latest quarterly Rental Report by Daft.ie, listed rents rose in all 54 markets.

There were just 2,700 homes available to rent nationwide on May 1 (Niall Carson/PA)
There were just 2,700 homes available to rent nationwide on May 1 (Niall Carson/PA)

There were just 2,700 homes available to rent nationwide on May 1, the lowest total ever recorded.

According to the latest quarterly Rental Report by Daft.ie, listed rents rose in all 54 markets covered in the report.

The average monthly rent in Ireland is now 1,366 euro, up 8.3% year-on-year.

The average listed rent is now 337 euro higher per month than the previous peak in 2008 and almost 625 euro higher than the low seen in late 2011.

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The county-by-county change in rents from Q1 2018 to Q1 2019. (PAWire/Daft.ie)

In Dublin, the increase in rents in the year to December 2018 was 6.8%, the 31st consecutive quarter where rents have risen.

The average rent in the capital is now 2,002 euro per month, while the second highest rent in the country is in Cork, with an average of 1,331 euro per month, up 10% from last year.

Elsewhere in the country, rents continue to rise at double-digit rates, with increases of between 10% and 15% in Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford cities, and increases of 12% on average in Munster, Connacht and Ulster.

Commenting on the report, Ronan Lyons, economist at Trinity College Dublin and author of the Daft Report, said: “The rental market remains plagued by weak supply at a time of strong demand.

“While the total number of rental homes on the market did improve slightly earlier in 2019, the figures for May have undone all that progress.

With the sale market showing signs of greater balance between supply and demand, policymakers must maintain their focus on boosting rental supply. A key part of that is developers building, and institutional landlords buying, new apartment blocks.”

  • Dublin: €2,002, up 6.8%
  • Cork: €1,331, up 10.0%
  • Galway: €1,260, up 11.4%
  • Limerick: €1,195, up 14.4%
  • Waterford: €986, up 13.6%
  • Rest of the country: €968, up 9.7%

Raychel O’Connell from Daft.ie said: “Low availability of rental properties is clearly a major issue at the moment. With over 1.4 million property searches on Daft each day demand continues to be strong, despite decreasing supply in the current market.”

The report has sparked criticism of the Government from housing campaigners, who say Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy is not acting effectively enough to resolve the housing crisis.

Sinn Fein’s housing spokesman Eoin O’Broin said the Government’s rental sector strategy is not working.

“The Rent Pressure Zones are now effectively meaningless for new renters,” he said.

“Meanwhile, Eoghan Murphy is sleepwalking through a disorderly exit of properties from the private rental sector.

“All of this demonstrates the need for radical action.

“It demonstrates the need for an immediate rent freeze for existing and new tenancies combined with a refundable renter’s tax credit worth a month’s rent.

“It also demonstrates the need for a major programme of Government investment in affordable cost rental accommodation by local authorities and approved housing bodies.”

The amount of homeless people in Ireland is now over 10,000, the worst in the history of the state.

A third of Ireland’s homeless population are children.

Campaigners have often noted that lack of affordable rental properties is forcing young families into homelessness.

A national protest against the Government’s housing policies is planned for May 18.

A spokesman for the Department of Housing said: “The Government is committed to increasing the supply of all types of homes — social, affordable and private housing.

“The best way to reduce and stabilise rents in the long term, and benefit the entire sector, is to increase supply and accelerate delivery of housing for the private and social rented sectors.

“The Government has already brought forward a number of initiatives to increase supply.”

PA

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