Rent rates rise by 13% as properties available for rent at 'record low'

The average rent nationwide is at an all-time high of €1,131 per month, writes Conall Ó Fatharta.

Rents are now at record levels across the country amid warnings of a sector that is in “extreme distress”.

According to the latest quarterly rental price report by Daft.ie, the current state of the rental sector is particularly grim.

Rents continue to rise, while the number of available properties to rent remains at the lowest levels on record.

Rents rose by nationwide by an average of 13.4% in the year to March with the average rent during the first three months of this year coming in at €1,131 — an all-time record.

This is the fourth quarter in a row that a new all-time record has been set.

The overall rental increase is only slightly down on the 13.5% increase seen in the final quarter of 2016 —which was the largest increase on record.

The average rent nationwide has risen by 52% since bottoming out in late 2011 and, having exceeded its 2008 peak in 2016, is now 9.9% above the previous high.

In Dublin, rents increased by 13.9% in the year to March. Prices are now 15.4% higher than the peak of early 2008 — an average of almost €225 a month extra.

In the three commuter counties closest to Dublin — Meath, Kildare and Louth —rents have increased by more than 60% since 2012.

In Cork, rents rose by 10.4% in the year to March, the tenth quarter of double-digit growth. The average rent there now stands at €1,107.

All three cities in Munster saw their rents increase by at least 10% in the year to March, as did Waterford, Cork and Clare counties.

Rents in Galway saw a similar hike, rising by 10.6% (€996) in a year, while rents in Limerick have risen 12.6% (€892) in the same period.

In Waterford city, rents have risen by 10.2% (€757) in 12 months, while outside the cities, they have risen by 13.2% (€802).

Much of the blame for the spiralling rental costs has been linked to the lack of supply of properties which remain at historic low levels.

Nationally, there were just 3,084 properties to rent at the beginning of this month. This is the second lowest number on record dating back to the beginning of the series in January 2006.

As a result, the availability of rental accommodation has not improved on the all-time low recorded in May of last year, when 3,082 properties were available nationwide.

In Dublin, there were just 1,074 properties available to rent in Dublin on May 1, the lowest figure recorded in the Daft series.

Commenting on the report, its author and Trinity College economist Ronan Lyons said the Irish rental market was now beginning to show signs of “extreme distress”.

“While the headline rate of inflation in rents has eased slightly, the market continues to exhibit signs of extreme distress. Rents are at a new all-time high, while the number of homes available to rent remains at the lowest levels on record,” he said.

Mr Lyons said the introduction of rent pressure zones by the Government can only ever have a limited effect in a market with such little supply.

“Regulatory measures designed to limit rent increases could only ever have a very limited effectiveness in a market with such a scarcity of supply.

"Indeed, there is evidence to suggest that rent increases for sitting tenants have been only half the size of increases faced by new tenants.

“The more appropriate solution remains to increase supply. This includes both making better use of the existing stock of housing and building substantially more, in particular more apartments,” he said.

Meanwhile, Daft.ie said it is recording large increases in activity on the site with an average of over 1,000 property searches every minute. Each month more than 2.5m unique users visit Daft.ie.

This article first appeared in the Irish Examiner.


KEYWORDS: rent, daft, ie, rising

 

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