There were just 1,460 homes available to rent in Ireland at the start of this month 1 year ago

There were just 1,460 homes available to rent in Ireland at the start of this month

Rents are rising as the availability of homes continues to fall.

There were just 1,460 homes available to rent on 1 November, 2021 nationwide, according to the latest rental report from website Daft.ie.

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The property website reports that rents in the third quarter of 2021 were an average of 6.8% higher than the same period in 2020.

The average monthly rent nationwide between July and September was €1,516, a rise of 2.6% on the first quarter and more than double the low of €742 per month seen in late 2011.

According to Daft, "the increase in rents around the country reflects an ongoing and unprecedented scarcity of rental homes".

Nationwide, there were just 1,460 homes available to rent at the start of this month, an all-time low since figures began being collected in January 2006.

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"Indeed, the level of availability now is almost half the lowest level recorded between the start of 2006 and the outbreak of Covid-19, which was 2,706 in mid-2019," Daft notes.

While the capital initially saw an increase in availability after the start of the pandemic, there were just 820 homes available in Dublin to rent on 1 November, the lowest ever recorded for the city in two decades.

This is as the stock of homes to rent in Dublin and other cities is between 70% and 80% lower than a year ago.

Also, while rents rose around Ireland between June and September, Daft reports that there remains "significant differences in annual inflation rates".

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As rents in Dublin are just 2.7% higher than a year ago, rents in Cork and Galway are 6.9% and 8.3% higher.

Meanwhile, inflation in Limerick and Waterford cities is higher again, at 8.9% and 10% respectively, while rents outside the cities are 11.9% higher than a year ago.

In parts of Connacht, rents rose by 20% in the 12 months to September.

“Covid-19 temporarily reshuffled Ireland’s rental problems but the latest figures confirm those problems of shortages are getting worse over time," economist and the report's author Ronan Lyons commented.

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“While some argue against the construction of large numbers of purpose-built rental homes, any solution to the chronic shortage of rental homes in Ireland must include building new ones.

"In this regard, the pipeline of almost 45,000 new build-to-rent homes – while concentrated in the Dublin area – is particularly welcome.

"More than 50,000 more rental homes have been proposed. Their construction would help improve the availability and affordability of rental homes, something for policymakers and planners to consider.”

Commenting on the report, Sinn Féin spokesperson on Housing Eoin Ó Broin hit out at the Government's recent decision to cap rent increases at 2% per annum in Rent Pressure Zones (RPZs).

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“The rental crisis continues unabated. Minister for Housing Darragh O'Brien's ham-fisted attempts to tweak failing rent pressure zone legislation has failed," he said.

“His latest unimaginative measure, to allow landlords, in the middle of a rental crisis, to hike up rents by another 2% is madness.

“It is clear from this report that affordable rental supply is non-existent now in most parts of the state. Renters do not want to hear commentary from the Minister about his support for homeownership and his vague targets on affordable cost rental.

“Nor do they want to hear the Taoiseach deliberately dodging questions from the opposition about the rental crisis with stock answers about social housing delivery.

“What is apparent is that this government failed to hear voters after the last election. More of the same bending over backwards to institutional investors with tax deals and roadshows is inexcusable.

“I have been commenting on these reports now as opposition housing spokesperson for five years. The same rote responses from those responsible is not acceptable."

The full Daft report is available to read here.