The number of homes available to rent remains at the lowest levels on record.
Rents rose nationwide by an average of 13.4% in the year to March 2017, according to the latest quarterly Rental Price Report by Ireland's No.1 Property Website, Daft.ie. In Leitrim, rents were on average 6.9% higher in the first three months of 2017 than a year previously. The average advertised rent is now €525, up 27% from its lowest point.
The average monthly rent nationwide during the first quarter of 2017 was €1,131, the fourth quarter in a row that a new all-time high has been set. The rate of inflation represents only a slight slowdown in inflation from the rate recorded in the final quarter of 2016 (13.5%), which was the largest on record.
In Dublin, the increase in rents in the year to March 2017 was 13.9%. Rents in the capital are now 15.4% higher than their previous peak in early 2008 – an average of almost €225 a month.
In Cork, rents rose by 10.4% in the year to March, the tenth quarter of double-digit growth in rents. Rents in Galway saw a similar rate of increase, rising by 10.6% in a year, while rents in Limerick have risen 12.6% in the same period. In Waterford city, rents have risen by 10.2% in twelve months, while outside the cities, rents have risen by 13.2%.
There were just 3,084 properties available to rent nationwide on May 1st. This is the second lowest number on record, in a series that starts in January 2006.
The availability of rental accommodation thus has not improved on the all-time low recorded in May 2016, when 3,082 properties were available nationwide.
Commenting on the report, Ronan Lyons, economist at Trinity College Dublin and author of the Daft Report, said: “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.
“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.”