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'Deeply troubling': Dublin rent €380 higher a month than at Celtic Tiger peak

The lowest average rents were in Leitrim, at €542; and Donegal, at €599, a Daft.ie Rent Report found.

RENTS IN EVERY county in Ireland rose in the last quarter of 2017 according to a report, with the average Dublin rent at €1,822 which is €380 higher per month than at the Celtic Tiger peak.

The Daft.ie quarterly report for the months October, November and December showed that rents rose by 2.4% nationally mostly driven by dramatic rises in Dublin.

Compared to this time last year, rents have risen by 10.4%. In 2016 there was an increase of 13.5%, 9% in 2015, and 10.7% in 2014.

The lowest average rents were found in Leitrim (€542) and Donegal (€599), where as the highest rent rates outside of Dublin were Wicklow (€1,256) and Kildare (€1,212).

Ireland rents q4 Source: Daft.ie Q4 Rental Price Report

There were 3,143 properties available to rent nationwide on 1 February this year. This is the lowest number ever recorded for this time of year since the series started in 2006, and the figure marks a 15% decrease on the same date a year previously.

In Dublin, there were fewer than 1,350 homes available to rent, compared to almost 6,700 on the same date in 2009.

It also compared mortgage rates to rents across the country, as a short snapshot of what could be better value:

Daft report Source: Daft.ie Q4 Rental Price Report

In Dublin, the south of the city and the county were the regions with the highest average rents, but the city centre and North City saw the greatest increase in rents compared with this time last year.

Daft Dublin Source: Daft.ie

The average rent in Dublin is now €4,500 a year, or €380 a month, more expensive than at its peak during the Celtic Tiger (2008). In central Dublin, rents rose by more than 90% since their lowest point in 2010.

Ronan Lyons, assistant professor of economics at Trinity College Dublin, said that although the focus on Dublin “is sometimes questioned”, in the rental market it’s for good reason.

“Outside Dublin, rents have increased by 52% on average - well below the increase seen in the capital.

And this figure itself is dragged up by areas within the functional Dublin economy: Meath and Louth, for example, have seen rents rise by 81% and 78% respectively since bottoming out.

He said that these are most likely due to a shift in the bulk of the workforce from manual industries based in rural communities, such as in the agriculture sector, to services offered by large companies in the cities.

Cork, Galway and Limerick have also seen significantly larger rent increases than the national average – with increases of slightly more than 65% in each case.

“These changes highlight the structural shifts at work in the economy. In particular, Ireland is converging to its economic peers in Europe and elsewhere, shifting away from agriculture (and manufacturing) and into services.

A shift into services means a shift into cities and this is what is putting pressure on the housing market, especially in urban areas.

Reaction

The Simon Communities in Ireland said that the high rent rates showed that the government’s cap on rents in certain areas, or Rent Pressure Zones, weren’t working.

“Rent Pressure Zones and other measures cannot work without proper monitoring and enforcement by the Residential Tenancies Board.

“Tenants cannot be expected to ‘police’ this private market when they are clearly at such a huge disadvantage with continuously diminishing supply and rising prices.

Secure social and affordable housing is badly needed to prevent more people from becoming homeless and to ensure that people can leave homelessness behind.

The Daft.ie Report, now in its 95th edition, is based on an analysis of the full database of properties posted for advertisement on Daft.ie up to February 2018. Average price figures are calculated from econometric regressions using standard methods.

Focus Ireland has called for more urgent Government action to tackle rocketing rents as the new Daft report shows rents have shot up to a new all-time record of €1,227 per month, the seventh quarter in a row a new all-time high has been set.

The charity warned that the range of Government measures designed to address the rental crisis has had very limited impact so far.

Focus Ireland agreed with that assessment, saying that the report mirrored the experiences of their staff across the country.

“While the Rent Pressure Zones have helped curtail rent increases for some sitting tenants there are so many loopholes in the legislation it is still far too easy for landlords to ignore,” Focus Ireland’s advocacy director Mike Allen said.

“The fact that Dublin rents are now 26% or almost €380 a month higher than their previous peak in 2008 is deeply troubling.”

Note: Journal Media Ltd has shareholders in common with Daft.ie publisher Distilled Media Group. You can read the full report here.

Read: Cost of new Dublin properties up €39,000 compared to last year

Read: House prices across the country rising by more than €50 a day

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