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Rents fell by average of 2.1% in April compared to previous month, new Daft report shows says this drop reflects the economic fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic.

RENTS FELL BY 2.1% on average in April compared to the month previous, reflecting the economic fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the latest rental report by 

With increases throughout much of the last 12 months, rents in the first quarter of 2020 were 3.8% higher than a year previous. However, this does mark the lowest rate of inflation since late 2012, it was noted. 

The average monthly rent nationwide stood at €1,418 in the first quarter of 2020, €676 per month higher than the low seen in 2011. 

The early 2020 trends have been broadly similar across the country, with rents rising by close to 4% in many areas in the year to March, before falling up to 2% in April. 

In Dublin, rents fell by 2.5% in April compared to March. 

In Leinster (outside Dublin), rents fell by 1.5% between March and April, while in Munster and Connacht/Ulster, they fell by 1.8% and 1.4% respectively. 

The number of homes available to rent nationwide on 1 May was almost 40% higher than on the same date a year earlier, with almost 3,800 homes on the market, compared to 2,700 in May 2019. 

This increase in availability comes even as the number of rental ads being posted dropped sharply, according to 

“Before Covid-19 stopped the economy in its trackers, it seemed as though things were finally beginning to improve for Ireland’s rental sector,” Ronan Lyons, economist at Trinity College Dublin and author of the report, said. 

“After a decade where effectively no new rental homes were built, the situation had improved in recent quarters. Figures in this report show that over 35,000 new rental homes were in the pipeline, when Covid-19 shut down the construction sector,” he said. 

Given that the pandemic is unlikely to change any of the long-term fundamentals driving underlying housing need, there is a danger that while its immediate impact might be to lower rents, its longer term effect could be to worsen the shortage.

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

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