Report confirms continuing rise in rents nationally

Renters now pay an average of €1,227 every month

Report confirms continuing rise in rents nationally

Houses in dublin City. Eamonn Farrell/RollinNews

Updated 18.20

Rents rose by over 10% across the country in 2017.

New figures from show that people now pay an average of €1,227 every month.

Rents in the capital are €4,500 more a year than they were during the peak of the Celtic Tiger.

It means that rents have now hit a new record high for the seventh quarter in a row.

Daft Economist Ronan Lyons says the trend is here to stay:

“Unfortunately the dynamics in the market with very strong demand and very weak supply look set to continue for at least a couple of years,” he said.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if we end up with ten years of strong rental growth – in particular in Dublin but not confined to Dublin, across the country.”

The Taoiseach, meanwhile, says introducing tougher laws on renting could cause even more of a black economy in the housing market.

Leo Varadkar was facing criticism in the Dáil after the latest report.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said many young people are now spending half their income on rent.

However, Leo Varadkar is reluctant to expand the rent pressure zones around the country.

He argued: "I think when it comes to any additional measures, we need to be careful. There is a risk that if you bring in rent controls that are too strict or too rigid, that that is counterproductive - you actually create even more of a black economy or black market in rent.

"We see that happening in places where there are very strict rent controls, and people end up paying cash amounts under the table or end up subletting to others. We need to make sure we don't make those kind of mistakes."

However, he insisted the Government is taking measures to deal with the situation - including increasing housing supply and strengthening the powers of the Residential Tenancies Board to turn it into a 'proper regulator'.

Rent report

Rents in Dublin increased by 10.9% in the year to December – nearly €360 a month higher than in 2008.

Rents in Galway and Waterford rose by just over 12% last year.

The increase in Limerick City was nearly 15%, while in Cork it was nearly 8%.

The Simon Communities have warned that Ireland’s homelessness crisis will not improve while rents remain so high.

Their National Spokesperson is Niamh Randall:

“What we are seeing is reducing supply and we are seeing prices increasing across the board,” she said.

“It is putting huge pressure on people on low incomes and it is pushing people into homelessness.

“We know one of the push factors into homelessness at this point in time is people not being able to afford rents in the private rental sector.

“But it also means that people can’t leave homelessness behind because they can’t access properties in their price range.”

However, the Irish Property Owners Association (IPOA) – a group representing landlords – has said the figures don't give a full picture of the rental market.

The group's pointing out that the report only monitors properties that are coming on to the rental market.

Margaret McCormick from the IPOA rejects suggestions that landlords are making big profits:

“The landlords are not profiteering,” she said.

“The costs of providing accommodation are extremely high and the taxation is even worse.

“Deloitte said last year that in some cases it is 73.8% effective tax rate on the income of a rental property.”