Rents continue to hit new record highs around the country

Rents have risen 11.5% nationally in the first four months of this year

Rents nationwide have hit record levels again.

The latest Daft.ie rental report reveals that the average monthly rent nationwide is now at €1,261.

That's up 11.5% in the year to the end of March.

It marks the eight consecutive quarter that has seen a new all-time high recorded – with annual rises consistently above 10%.

Monthly rents are €232 more than they were at their pre-crisis peak in 2008.

Image Daft.ie

National crisis

Trinity economist Ronan Lyons, the author of the report, said the rental crisis is “countrywide, although it is certainly most acute in Dublin.”

“It is clear that, for those who have to look for a new home in the open market, rental inflation remains well above any reasonable measure of health,” he said.

“But as ever, rents are only the symptom.

“The cause remains a chronic and worsening lack of rental supply.

“Policy must focus on dramatically increasing the construction of urban apartments over the coming years, in order to meet both the backlog of demand and the country’s needs over coming years and decades.”

Supply

The Daft report warns that the country needs to build close to 50,000 homes a year to cater for demand.

More than 15,000 rental homes are needed – with Dublin alone requiring around 200 new apartment units every week from now until the 2080s.

Mr Lyons warned that there is no sign of the increases slowing down – with the number of properties available to rent around the country at its lowest level since Daft began publishing its report in 2006.

“That is actually at a new record low."

Availability

There were 3,086 properties available to rent nationwide in April – marking a 17% decrease on the same time last year.

In Dublin, there were just 1,265 homes available to rent, 33% less than the average recorded over the last five years.

The Housing charity Threshold has warned that the continuing rises show that the Government’s Rent Pressure Zone legislation is not working.

The charity said the penalties that are currently in place do not seem to be acting as a deterrent to landlords who are intent on ending tenancies in order to substantially increase rent.

It said the Government must ensure the legislation is properly enforced.

The Rent Pressure Zone legislation is supposed to limit rent rises to 4% per year.

Transparency

Threshold chairperson Aideen Hayden said it is impossible to enforce without making price information easily accessible on a rental register.

“The difficulty we have with the current situation is that an incoming tenant does not know what the previous tenant was paying,” she said.

“We have said to the minister on numerous occasions that we need to have transparency in the system.

“There should be a rent register that should be updated every time the rent is increased and it should be visible to anybody who is coming in to a situation to know what the previous tenant was paying.”

She said the narrative that the problem is limited to major cities is now “well and truly disabused” with the problem spread right across the country.

The Institute of Professional Auctioneers & Valuers said rent controls will not provide a solution to the crisis and called on the Government to concentrate on bringing new supply onto the market.

Average rents, and year-on-year change, Q1 2018

  • Dublin: €1,875, up 12.4%
  • Cork: €1,210, up 9.3%
  • Galway: €1,131, up 13.6%
  • Limerick: €1,044, up 17.1%
  • Waterford: €868, up 14.6%
  • Rest of the country: €883, up 10.1%