The number of properties available to rent nationwide at the start of 2012 is at its lowest level in three and a half years, according to the latest report published today by Ireland’s largest property website, Daft.ie. The number of properties available to rent nationwide has fallen by 5.7%. This is primarily driven by Dublin, where there are almost 1,000 fewer properties available to rent now than a year ago.
The average rent in the final quarter of 2011 nationwide was €821, a fall of 0.7% compared to the same period a year previously. In Dublin, rents were largely static, rising by just 0.3%, while in Cork, the average rent rose by 2.6% over the course of the year. In Limerick and Waterford cities, rents declined by 2.4% while Galway declined by 1.2%. Outside the main cities, rents were 1.7% lower than a year previously.
Commenting on the latest report, Joan Burton, Minister for Social Protection, said: “Nationally rents have remained notably stable for the last twelve months. Indeed, rents have stabilised as far back as December 2009, with little change since that date. This quarter under review mirrors this trend. As previous quarterly reports have shown, national rent indices still appear to mask a rural/urban split within the Irish rental market, with rural prices continuing to fall, albeit at a slow pace, and these falls being offset by increasing rents in urban areas.
Minister Burton continued; “The issue of rents stabilising since December 2009, given the deterioration in both net disposable incomes and employment opportunities, does pose the question as to whether an element of this relates to the pricing floors available to landlords in the form of rent supplement limits,” Minister Burton noted. “It is essential that rents are allowed to stabilise from a natural balance of supply and demand, rather than as a result of a price floor funded by the taxpayer.”
Ronan Lyons, Economist at Daft.ie, said: “It will be interesting to see whether any changes to the rent supplement thresholds have an impact on the wider rental market, especially later in the year when leases are renewed. Any effect is unlikely to be evenly felt in all areas though, as some areas, such as Cork city and certain parts of Dublin, are already seeing increasing rents, which suggests underlying demand from a build-up of first-time buyers.”
Year-on-year change in rents, Q4 2011
- Dublin: €1,057, up 0.3%
- Cork: €865, up 2.6%
- Galway: €747, down 1.2%
- Limerick: €673, down 2.4%
- Waterford: €632, down 2.4%
- *Daft report