Letting agents in Kilkenny have stopped advertising properties for rent as they will be “swamped” by phone calls from people desperately wanting a home, a leading housing agent has said.
Estate agent Michael Boyd, who is based in Kilkenny city for 30 years, says his business and other agents are no longer advertising rentals online, or on social media.
“There is very little to let at the moment. We’ve a high volume of enquiries,” he said.
“We’ve stopped advertising. We are not equipped to cope. If you leave a letting up half a day, we receive over a hundred phone calls.”
Instead, they are finding tenants for their clients by calling local firms, who have workers needing accommodation. Alternatively, they deal privately with people who call to their offices in search of a tenancy.
The average rental price for a two bed property is €950 to €1,000 and €1,200 for a three bed semi-detached.
Speaking with Sue Nunn on The Way It Is on KCLRfm local radio, Mr Boyd added: "(The supply) is historically small, particularly in lettings. About four months ago ... there was nothing to let in Kilkenny, anywhere with anybody."
It was the first time the situation had been that bad in the 30 years his company has been in existence, he said.
Prices for an average three bed semi-detached house are up 7.5 per cent in the last quarter and 15 per cent in the three months prior to that. The average price currently is €295,000 up from €225,000 for the same period last year.
Buyers are now coming from Dublin and returning home from abroad due to work changes associated with the Covid-19 pandemic. Life in the area is often considered is more attractive than in big cities or overseas while the amenities are regarded as good and mortgages are far more affordable.
Carlow and Kilkenny has chronically low levels of new houses or apartments coming up for sale or rental, however, and this is causing prices to rise.
A property in Goresbridge had 90 interested parties with mortgage approval wanting to view it within three days of the house going on the market, he said.
Some people want to live in Kilkenny and travel to work in Dublin on a couple of days each, while others are moving to the county’s villages to commute each day into Kilkenny City, he said.
“I think we are going to be a very tight place for a very long time. The Government doesn’t recognise the legitimate need for a good quality private rental market as they move around.
“That sector is being depleted all the time. The whole rented sector is corporatised by local authorities and approved housing bodies. We need a mix of housing,” he added.