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23 May 2022

Leitrim rents up 21.5% as house prices rise by 16%

Rents on the rise in Laois

Rents on the rise in Leitrim

Rising rental and property prices combined with high construction costs, planning difficulties, and the departure of property investors from the market are all adding to a housing “crisis” coming down the road for the region warns a local auctioneer.
Last week the Western Development Commission published a report looking at economic indicators for the region. In the period January to October 2019, 276 properties were sold in Leitrim, in the same period in 2021 this figure had risen to 346 transactions, an increase of 53%.
Alongside this the report detailed that median sales prices in Leitrim rose by 16% year on year from 2020 to 2021 and rents were up 21.5% year on year between 2020 and 2021.
Gordon Hughes of Gordon Hughes Estate Agents said that there was a number of factors coming into play in the region adding he was "unsurprised" by the level of increase in property prices and rental costs in the county during the pandemic.
While he acknowledged that there is work underway to address housing shortages in places like Dublin, Mr Hughes said “I don't think that the Government realises the crisis that is coming down the road in this region.”
In 2019 the average price for a property in Leitrim was €112,548, by 2021 this had risen to €130,639.
Auctioneer, Gordon Hughes, said that the 16% increase in average house prices was in line with what he was seeing in his business.

“Typically, auctioneers hold large volumes of properties for sale and typically properties take three to four months to sell. Now, we are selling properties in just five or six weeks,” he said, “and the prices are definitely increasing. 16% seems about what we are seeing and we are expecting a 5-10% further increase in sales and rental prices in 2022.”
Part of the increase in property demand in Leitrim says Mr Hughes, is down to young Leitrim people who are returning to their native county to live, leading to increased demand for property sales and rental.
Mr Hughes however said that the tightening of housing supply in Leitrim was being helped by Brexit. “What we are seeing now is that a lot of people from the UK who bought properties in Leitrim are now selling them and returning home,” he noted.
However demand is growing significantly as the cost of building a house far outstrips the cost of buying an existing property.
This is also discouraging developers from building as “there's no room for making any money with current building costs.”
Mr Hughes said that “investors are leaving property ownership in droves” and while this is helping in the short term with property supply it is having a negative impact on the number of rental properties available.
He stated existing landlords have “the pick” of tenants and while he noted the 21.5% increase in rental costs, he said this was still “amongst the lowest in the country”.
He said unless changes are made to taxation for rental income more landlords will sell up leaving local authorities to make up the housing shortfall.

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