Just 3,200 properties to rent in Ireland at start of year
Rents in Ireland are now 23 per cent higher than their Celtic Tiger peak, according to a new report.
The study shows rents increased during the first three months of 2018 – the 23rd quarter in succession – as the number of rental properties available nationwide continues to decline.
The quarterly rent report by Irish property for sale website Daft.ie says rents rose 11.5 per cent nationally in the year to March and were up 2.8 per cent on a quarterly basis. The largest first-quarter increase since 2014.
The average rent across Ireland during the first three months of the year was €1,261, a monthly increase of €232 compared to the previous peak a decade ago in 2008.
Trinity College economics professor Dr Ronan Lyons who wrote the report said rents across Ireland are considerably higher than in a decade ago despite general prices having barely changed during the same period.
He said: “It is clear that, for those who have to look for a new home in the open market, rental inflation remains well above any reasonable measure of health. But as ever, rents are only the symptom.
“The cause remains a chronic and worsening lack of rental supply. Policy must focus on dramatically increasing the construction of urban apartments over the coming years, in order to meet both the backlog of demand and the country’s needs over coming years and decades.”
In Dublin rents are now 30 per cent higher than their previous Celtic Tiger peak. Rents there rose by 12.8 per cent over the year to March. In Limerick rents rose 17.1 per cent. In Waterford they rose 14.6 per cent and in Galway and Cork, rents rose by 13.6 per cent and 9.3 per cent respectively. Across the rest of the country rents rose by an average of 10.1 per cent.
The Daft report says there were just 3,200 properties available to rent in the whole of Ireland in the first four months of this year – a 17 per cent fall compared to a a year ago and the lowest number it has ever recorded for this time of year.
Nearly a decade ago in 2009, it points out, 21,000 properties were available.
In Dublin, there were just 1,265 homes available to rent last month, one-third below the average over the last five years.
Ireland needs some 50,000 new homes a year to meet underlying housing demand and needs more than 15,000 rental homes a year.
Dr Lyons said: “By focusing on limiting rent increases, rather than boosting the supply of rental accommodation, policy is merely shuffling the fixed stock of rental homes between a number of tenants and prospective tenants.”