- 70% drop in available private rental properties in two years, with Northeast also affected
- Average rents increase by almost 20% year-on-year in West and North-West
Monday February 21: Rent prices in Ireland’s western and north-western counties have had the strongest rate of inflation on record since 2006, as the majority of these regions remain outside of Rent Pressure Zones (RPZ’s), according to research in the latest Daft.ie Q4 2021 Rental Price Report. The average rent has increased in the west and northwest by 18.9% compared to Quarter 2020. The recent report found that the average rent in Galway City has increased by 8.8% since 2020 to €1,504. Meanwhile, Donegal has experienced one of the highest increases in the west, with average rents jumping by an unprecedented 24.3%. Leitrim, once the cheapest county to live in has had the highest increase in the country at 24.8%, with the average rent now costing €779. As these areas are not protected by RPZ legislation, landlords cannot charge more than ‘market rent’ when seeking a rent review, which must be a minimum of 24 months from the previous review notification.
Four in 10 queries in some counties relate to tenancy termination
Threshold, the national housing charity, said that their Galway office dealt with queries from 504 households in December 2021. Of these queries, 40% concerned tenancy terminations, with private renters facing little options of alternative accommodation when their tenancy is ended as long-term rental choices dwindle. One in five cases concerned rent and rent increases in the same period. Threshold’s Western Regional Services Manager, Karina Timothy stated:
“The high increase in rent prices combined with the fewer choices of accommodation in the west and northwest is incredibly concerning. We’re experiencing far more queries with more tenants expressing concerns over the increasing costs of renting and it’s a very difficult time for those who are renting. Additional measures such as a Rent Register, which would allow private renters to check the previous rent on the property and when it was set, are undoubtedly necessary, as is a nationwide expansion of Rent Pressure Zones in order to tackle rising prices.”
Daft.ie reported that rents have risen nationally by an average 10.3%, the highest year-on-year national rent increase since the second quarter of 2018. This is exacerbated by long-term accommodation availability dropping significantly throughout the country, with short-term lets becoming a more frequent phenomenon.
Huge disparity between numbers of short-let and long-term lets in these areas and the North-East
Research carried out by Threshold on Daft.ie and short-term let platforms highlights this and shows a stark difference in the number of long-term, and short-term, rental options in the west and north-west of the country.
In early December, Daft.ie listed 156 homes to rent in Connaught, and just 63 homes in Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan combined. However, Inside AirBnB figures from December 2021 show a total of 2,131 short-term accommodations available to rent in Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan collectively. Of this, there were 93 homes/apartments to rent in Cavan, 1,267 entire properties to rent in Donegal and 43 entire accommodation options available in Monaghan.
New Short-Term Registration System
A new short-term let registration system is set to be launched by Failte Ireland in the coming months. This new system will mean that property owners must register accommodation and have the correct planning permission to advertise a short-term letting option. This forms part of the government’s Housing For All Plan, launched last September. Collectively in the region of Connaught and counties Cavan, Donegal and Monaghan, Daft.ie reported just 188 homes available to rent on February 1st of this year, which is the second lowest figure since 2006. Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, 600 homes were recorded as available to rent, which represent a drop of almost 70%.
Karina Timothy concluded that ongoing measures from the State must continue: We need to see further action from the government in tackling soaring rent prices, similarly to how they have acted in response to increasing energy costs and inflation. There won’t be any improvement without some further regulatory measures, , and unfortunately – the longer that this issue remains – the more individuals and families are placed at risk of homelessness.”
Threshold’s helpline is open Monday to Friday, 9am- 9pm at 1800 454 454, with webchat at www.threshold.ie/advice/help for any renter in need of advice or support.