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Spike in rental properties available - but many remain 'unaffordable', warns homeless charity

The report, published by Simon Communities, indicates that the new properties will do little to alleviate the housing crisis.

Image: Shutterstock

THERE HAS BEEN a 30% jump in the 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 there had been a 32.5% increase in vacant rental properties since 2 March to 23 March. 

The study confirms that the spread of coronavirus outbreak has had some impact on Ireland’s rental market and the wider housing crisis. 

The charity writes that the findings, based on the availability of properties on Daft.ie, suggest “that property owners are moving away from the short-term letting option such as Airbnb and towards more long-term rental leases in the private rental market”.

The report found that the number of properties has jumped from 1,330 to 1,762 in the space of nearly one month – with a particular spike in Dublin where the number of properties jumped from 270 to 473. 

While the rise in rental properties will be welcome news for many, the findings suggest that the jump in available houses will do little to alleviate the housing crisis with the vast majority of homes unavailable ineligible under Housing Assistance Payment limits

Only 510 properties available across the four cities, according to Simon Communities, would meet HAP rent limit regulations.

Of those, 490 were in Dublin.

However, the report did find that there had been a drop in the median price of one, two and three-bed properties in Dublin “indicating that increased supply may be having some downward pressure on cost”.

“This drop does not constitute affordability,” Wayne Stanley, the spokesperson for Simon Communities, said. 

“Homelessness and housing will remain the priority issue once we get to the other side of this crisis”.  

Dublin

In Dublin city centre, there has been a 75% increase in rental properties in less than a month, with the median price falling from €2,000 to €1,750 for a one-bed home and from €2,995 to €2,500 for a two-bed property. 

But of 270 properties in the city centre on 2 March, only six would have met HAP limits. 

“The number of properties available to single people within the standard HAP limit, remained at zero, however the level increased from zero to 4 within the homeless HAP limit,” the report found. 

The homeless scheme allows the Dublin Region Homeless Executive to introduce HAP rent limits 50% higher than the normal scheme.

A report from Daft.ie earlier this 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. 

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

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