The number of homes available to rent in Ireland fell to just 1,397 at the start of this month 5 months ago

The number of homes available to rent in Ireland fell to just 1,397 at the start of this month

A Daft report says this is a "new all-time low" since figures began being collected.

There were just 1,397 homes available to rent on 1 February nationwide, according to the latest rental report from website Daft.ie.

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This is a fall from November's figure of 1,460 homes and a "new all-time low" in the property website's series that began in January 2006.

In their new report, Daft also outlines that rents in the final quarter of 2021 were an average of 10.3% higher than the same period in 2020.

The average monthly rent nationwide between October and December was €1,524, a rise of 3% on the first quarter of 2021 and double the low of €765 per month seen in late 2011.

Meanwhile, the average rent in Dublin was €2,056, up 8.9% year-on-year, with the capital now seeing the fastest percentage growth in rents in the country.

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This is with rents in Dublin rising by 4.1% between September and December.

"The sharp increase in rents around the country reflects a worsening of the unprecedented scarcity of rental homes," Daft says in a statement accompanying the report.

On the new low in homes available to rent, the property website states that the recent fall reflects a further tightening of supply in Dublin.

In the capital, there were just 712 homes available on 1 February, which is less than one quarter of the average seen for February over the last two decades.

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Outside Dublin, meanwhile, supply improved marginally between November and February with 685 homes to rent.

However, Daft states that availability is less than one third of the pre-pandemic level of February 2020 and one 20th the level seen a decade ago.

“The strong rebound in economic activity, as public health restrictions relax, has translated into a strong demand for rental accommodation," economist and the report's author Ronan Lyons commented.

"Coming at a time of very weak rental supply, this has pushed rents up further, with inflation at its highest rate nationwide since early 2018.

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“As new purpose-built rental stock is completed, availability of rental homes will be better measured by capturing development-specific vacancy rates, as well as ads.

"An analysis of over 60 existing purpose-built rental communities indicates over 90% occupancy across their nearly 8,000 homes.

"Figures for a further 12 developments coming on stream in early 2022 suggest brisk take-up of new homes.

"Even if the 1,700 homes due to become available in the first half of 2022 were added to the existing stock of rental ads, the number of homes available to rent in Dublin now would be below the level seen a year ago.

"As ever, the solution remains in the construction of large numbers of market- and cost-rental housing, to cater for tenants of all incomes.

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"Reform of rent controls would also enable new rental homes to be absorbed faster.”

Reacting to the report, Sinn Féin spokesperson on Housing Eoin Ó Broin reiterated his party's calls for a ban on rent increases.