IRELAND’s HOUSING CRISIS: high rents and low supply

13 May 2019
By Mary Bermingham

There were just 2,700 homes available to rent nationwide on May 1st, the lowest total ever recorded in a series dating back to 2006, according to the latest quarterly Rental Report by With tight supply, listed rents rose again in all 54 markets covered in the report. The average monthly rent nationwide during the first quarter of 2019 was €1,366, up 8.3% year-on-year. The average listed rent is now €337 higher per month than the previous peak in 2008 and almost €625 higher than the low seen in late 2011.

In Munster, rents rose by an average of 12.1% in the year to March 2019 and are now 19% above their previous high in early 2008. In Cork City, rents have risen by 10% in the last year and the average rent is now €1331. In the rest of Cork, rents were on average 12.7% higher in the first quarter of 2019 than a year previously. The average listed rent is now €1006, up 73% from its lowest point.

There are different trends in rental inflation across the country. In Dublin, the increase in rents in the year to December 2018 was 6.8%, the 31st consecutive quarter where rents have risen but the slowest increase since early 2013. Similarly, inflation is slowing in Leinster, with rents 7.3% higher than a year ago, half the rate of inflation seen two years ago. But elsewhere in the country, rents continue to rise at double digit rates, with increases of between 10% and 15% in Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford cities, and increases of 12% on average in Munster, Connacht and Ulster.

Commenting on the report, Ronan Lyons, economist at Trinity College Dublin and author of the Daft Report, said: “The rental market remains plagued by weak supply at a time of strong demand. While the total number of rental homes on the market did improve slightly earlier in 2019, the figures for May have undone all that progress. Much of the commentary around new supply for the market is unhelpful, particularly talk of so-called ‘cuckoo funds’ – what in other countries are termed landlords. With the sale market showing signs of greater balance between supply and demand, policymakers must maintain their focus on boosting rental supply. A key part of that is developers building, and institutional landlords buying, new apartment blocks.”

Average rents, and year-on-year change, Q1 2019

Dublin: €2,002, up 6.8%
Cork: €1,331, up 10.0%
Galway: €1,260, up 11.4%
Limerick: €1,195, up 14.4%
Waterford: €986, up 13.6%
Rest of the country: €968, up 9.7%

Raychel O’Connell from said “Low availability of rental properties is clearly a major issue at the moment. With over 1.4 million property searches on Daft each day demand continues to be strong, despite decreasing supply in the current market.”

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