Video: Just 41 HAP properties available to rent; Richmond named Minister of State

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Just 41 HAP properties available to rent last month

There were just 41 Housing Assistance Payment-eligible properties for rent in the country last month, a new survey published by the Simon Communities of Ireland reported on Friday.

The figure is a slight improvement on the number of HAP-eligible properties reported by Simon's previous quarterly report in September, which saw just 35 units available for rent.


Simon's "Locked out of the Market" report studied 16 areas of the country, surveyed on three dates in December.

The majority of HAP-eligible properties were located in Dublin (24). Large swathes of areas studied in the report had no HAP-eligible properties available to rent, including Athlone, Cork city, Galway city, Co Leitrim, Limerick city and Waterford city.

The slight improvement in availability of HAP properties is mirrored in the rental market as a whole: in December, there were 757 properties available for rent, representing a 93 per cent increase from September's figure.

House prices to stabilise in 2023

Landlords will continue to exit the rental market in large numbers this year, a trend that emerged in 2022, the Society of Chartered Surveyors forecasted on Friday.


In the final quarter of 2022, SCSI agents estimated that 40 per cent of properties being put on the market for sale were landlords selling investment property.

John O'Sullivan, chair of SCSI's practice and policy committee, said that this trend "ramped up" at the end of the year.

“Although the trend of second-hand buy-to-let properties coming on the market was in evidence throughout 2022, it appears to have ramped up in the last quarter of the year. While this may have helped to increase the number of properties available for sale — 66 per cent of agents reported low stock levels this year as opposed to 85 per cent last year – the lack of supply remains the dominant issue in the market."

Neale Richmond named Minister of State

Neale Richmond has been named as Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise, Trade & Employment, and the Department of Social Protection, following the resignation of Damien English.


Mr English resigned following questions surrounding a planning application he submitted in 2008.

Mr Richmond has been a TD since 2020 and has contributed regularly on issues around the European Union, Brexit and the Northern Ireland protocol.

Speaking following the Cabinet decision, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said: “I was very happy to nominate Neale Richmond for this important position. Neale is an exceptionally capable politician and parliamentarian who has been to the forefront of issues arising from Brexit, including its impact on Irish business and trade. He is a first time TD but has also served a full term in the Seanad."

Second man admits facilitating Mulready-Woods murder

A second man who was accused of murdering teenager Keane Mulready-Woods has pleaded guilty at the Special Criminal Court on Friday morning to the lesser charge of facilitating the 17-year-old's murder.


Gerard Cruise, with an address at Lower Sherrard Street in Dublin 1, was originally charged with the teen's murder at a house in Rathmullan Park on January 12th or 13th, 2020.

The 49-year-old, who was previously given a date later this month for his murder trial at the three-judge court, was arraigned today on the new charge.

Cruise pleaded guilty on Friday to a charge that, with knowledge of the existence of a criminal organisation, he participated in activities with intent to facilitate a serious offence, namely the murder of Mr Mulready-Woods, at Rathmullen Park, Drogheda, Co Louth, between the dates of January 11th and 13th, 2020, contrary to Section 72 of the Criminal Justice Act 2006.

Lisa Marie Presley, singer and only child of Elvis Presley, dies aged 54

Lisa Marie Presley, the only child of Elvis Presley, died on Thursday after being rushed to hospital earlier that day, her mother said in a statement.


“It is with a heavy heart that I must share the devastating news that my beautiful daughter Lisa Marie has left us,” Priscilla Presley said in a statement.

“She was the most passionate, strong and loving woman I have ever known.”

The announcement came just hours after Priscilla had confirmed that Lisa Marie was rushed to hospital earlier on Thursday.

Los Angeles County paramedics were dispatched to a Calabasas home at 10.37am following a report of a woman in full cardiac arrest, according to Craig Little, a spokesperson for the county’s fire department.

Property records indicate Lisa Marie was a resident at that address.


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