Ires Reit, the state’s largest private landlord, said demand for its properties far outweighed supply last year as the residential rental market remained strong.
The company, which has a portfolio of almost 4,000 homes, said it had an occupancy rate of 99.4 per cent at the end of December, with an average rent of €1,750. Ires Reit said this was around 13 per cent below average rent levels for new tenancies in Dublin, based on the Residential Tenancies Board figures for the second quarter of 2022.
The property company noted rising inflation had impacted costs, increasing employee costs, utilities and repairs and maintenance during the second half of the financial year, but active cost management initiatives and discipline were expected to see the business delivering a broadly stable net rental income margin for the full year.
Ires Reit said operating performance was stable, in line with the first half of 2022, and it had a strong financial position. Last year the company entered interest rate hedging arrangements that saw 72 per cent of the group’s total drawn debt fixed.
The property company added 238 units during the year across a number of developments, and disposed of 128 units at Hampton Wood at a 3.5 per cent yield.
Despite the challenging market environment, the company said its underlying business remained strong in the second half of the year, and it was well-placed to navigate continued market uncertainties.
“Despite the ongoing macroeconomic challenges, I am pleased with the company’s resilient performance in 2022 and I believe that our high quality, diverse portfolio of assets, robust financial position and highly experienced property management team will ensure that our business remains in a strong position as we enter 2023,” said chief executive Margaret Sweeney.
“The residential rental market remains strong as we continue to see powerful structural trends in demographics, robust employment levels and technological change. All of these dynamics are key drivers of growth in the private rental sector, which is translating into excellent operational performance in our portfolio. I am acutely aware of the increasing cost pressures facing our residents and we will continue our engagement programmes and initiatives which support our residents and the communities in which we operate.”
In terms of its liquidity, Ires said it has facilities of about €800 million, of which €657 million is drawn, and it has no debt maturing until April 2026.
The company said it would publish its full year results on February 24th.