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The number of rental properties in Ireland is at its lowest in recorded history

The latest Daft.ie quarterly rental report makes for grim reading for renters around the country.

24/2/2009. Dublin City Scenes File photo: Dublin city centre Source: Sasko Lazarov/Rollingnews.ie

RENTS AROUND IRELAND have jumped to record levels once again according to a newly-released report.

The latest Daft.ie quarterly rental report shows that rents jumped to a record high for the fifth quarter in a row between April and June of this year.

Rents nationwide jumped 11.8% in the first six months of the year, with the average asking price for a rental nationwide now €1,159 per month.

The average rental price in Dublin meanwhile is now a worrying €1,707 per month.

A chronic lack of supply is behind the eye-watering numbers, according to the report.

There were just 2,930 properties available to rent across Ireland on 1 August, the lowest number ever recorded. It is the first time, in fact, since such records began in 2006, that fewer than 3,000 homes were available to rent across the country.

In Dublin there were just 1,100 homes available to rent, compared with 2,000 on the same date in 2014.

Meanwhile, rents in Dublin jumped by 12.3% in the first six months of the year. They now stand 18% higher than the previous peak seen in 2008 – equivalent to an additional €260 being paid on average per month per property.

In the cities outside the capital, the situation is much the same, albeit marginally less pronounced.

daft1 Source: Daft.ie

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Here are how the average rents seen around the country currently stand:

  • Dublin – €1,707, up 12.3%
  • Cork – €1,122, up 6.8%
  • Galway – €1,026, up 10.0%
  • Limerick – €919, up 10.8%
  • Waterford – €772, up 8.4%
  • Rest of the country – €824, up 11.9%

Cork city rents rose by 6.8% in the year to June, which is in fact the slowest rate of increase seen there since 2014.

In Galway the numbers being charged are 10% higher than this time last year. That means 11 straight quarters, or just under three years, of double-digit increases in the city.

Limerick city’s rents rose 10.8% in the last 12 months, while in Waterford the increase was 8.4%.

Meanwhile, outside the cities, rents have risen by 11.9% across the country.

Homeless

Homeless organisation Focus Ireland warned that the nigh-on 3,000 homeless children in Ireland at present are becoming the ‘invisible victims’ of the housing crisis.

“As September approaches up to 1,800 children are preparing to return to primary or secondary school and many are from families forced into homelessness by the rental crisis,” the body’s advocacy manager Roughan MacNamara said.

“This situation is really impacting on them as children and on their education. It is fundamentally wrong that this is being allowed to happen.”

daft2 Average asking prices and year-on-year change Source: Daft.ie

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MacNamara said that action on vacant properties (such as a tax, or compulsory purchase orders) are key to solving the situation, one that seems to grow ever more dire with each passing month.

“The review of Rebuilding Ireland (former Housing Minister Simon Coveney’s plan to rejuvenate the sector, launched last year) must take steps to urgently increase access to housing by encouraging those with empty properties to make them available,” he said.

This must be a carrot and stick approach such as introducing more incentives for people to rent out empty houses alongside a tax on empty properties in this time of crisis.

Student accommodation

Traditionally, the months of July and August are two of the busiest for the rental market as students returning to college scramble to secure accommodation for the coming year.

That is a situation that has not materialised in 2017.

“In the last two years… there has been no summer rush of properties to rent,” said Trinity College Dublin economist, and author of the report, Ronan Lyons.

“In a market with such chronically deficient supply, it is therefore unsurprising to see rents reach a new high.

MINISTER VISITS WATER SHORTAGE LOCATION  758A8108_90518864 Current Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy Source: Eamonn Farrell/Rollingnews.ie

While rent controls may help sitting tenants, they make the market even tougher for those looking for a new home. The rental market remains in severe distress due to a lack of supply and thus the appropriate policy response is to boost supply of all forms.
This includes purpose-built student accommodation. Based on demographics and other factors, Dublin alone needs a block of 300 student beds approved every month until the late 2020s.

“Over 50,000 Leaving Cert graduates from the class of 2017 are now looking for a place to stay before September,” the presidents of UCD and Trinity student unions Katie Ascough and Kevin Keane said in a joint statement.

“The lion’s share of that group will be seeking accommodation in Dublin, Cork and Galway – the most competitive areas of a housing market in crisis.

A cursory glance at the available data shows the challenge awaiting them. Major collective action from a range of stakeholders is necessary to help these young people.

You can view the full report here

Note: TheJournal.ie publisher Journal Media Ltd has some shareholders in common with Daft.ie

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