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Dublin: 4°C Sunday 11 April 2021

Number of rental properties continues to rise - but charity says former Airbnbs won't solve housing crisis

A new report by the Simon Communities says new properties are out of reach of HAP customers.

Image: Shutterstock/Raquel Mathias

THERE HAS BEEN a 38% increase in the number of properties available to rent across Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Galway since the Covid-19 outbreak, according to a new study. 

The research, compiled by Simon Communities of Ireland, found that the number of vacant rental properties rose by 504 to 1,834 between 2 March and 15 April. 

The study appears to indicate a continued growth in available rental properties on Daft.ie throughout the crisis.

A report from Daft.ie last month found a similar trend, with most of the increase in rented properties concentrated in Dublin.

The increase in properties was mirrored across the country, with the availability of private rented accommodation rising across each of the four cities studied. 

However, the study also found that despite the increase in available rental properties, there has been a minor decrease in the number of rental properties
available in Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) categories.

On 15 April, there were just 58 instances of properties being available across any of the four categories within standard HAP rates across the country.

The charity also found that in terms of affordability, there has been a moderate fall in the median prices of one, two and three-bedroom properties across Dublin, suggesting better affordability on the market in the capital.

Meanwhile, just 17 properties were available within HAP limits in Cork, Galway and Limerick.

Wayne Stanley, national spokesperson for the Simon Communities of Ireland, said that any hope that  a surplus of AirBnb properties on the rental market would help to ease the housing and homelessness crisis was not borne out by the report.

“The findings reflect the on the ground experience that it remains difficult for those seeking to exit homelessness to find an affordable home in the private rental market,” he said.

“While there has been an increase in properties available overall it is concentrated in the capital. We have not seen a big upswing in availability in Cork, Galway or Limerick.”

It is clear if we are to address affordability we will need to see an ambitious plan for social housing and a roll out of affordable ‘cost rental’ accommodation by the next government. 

Note: Journal Media Ltd has shareholders in common with Daft.ie publisher Distilled Media Group.

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