Q&A: Blame rising rents on supply and demand

In Dublin average price renters are paying is €1,368, in Cork €889 and in Galway €818

At present there are less than 2,000 properties for rent in Dublin

At present there are less than 2,000 properties for rent in Dublin


So rents are climbing then? Yes. According to property website Daft.ie rents in Dublin climbed by 8.5 per cent over the last 12 months compared with a 15 per cent jump in the preceding 12 months. The news is worse – for renters if not landlords – outside Dublin where an 8.7 per cent rise in rental costs has been recorded over the last 12 months.

Forget percentages. Can I have cold hard cash figures? The national average rent was €934 between April and June compared with €860 for the same quarter in 2014. In Dublin the average price renters are paying is €1,368, while in Cork the average is €889 and €818 in Galway.

What’s driving rents higher? Supply and demand. At the beginning of this month there were just 4,600 units available for rent compared with 6,800 on the same day a year earlier. On August 1st, 2009, there were about 23,000 properties to rent across the Republic. There are less than 2,000 properties for rent in Dublin today.

Can the rent supplement cover the costs for lower-income families? Absolutely not. The average cost of renting a home in Dublin is coming close to €1,400 While rents continue to soar, rent supplement rates have remained unchanged. The maximum rent that a family with two children, in receipt of rent supplement, can pay in Dublin is €975 a month.

What about increasing the rent supplement? The Government is dead against it. We are, however, in an election cycle and the current rent caps are untenable. If the rental market surges ahead and poorer families lose their homes, the Government might be forced to act.

Just how big is the rental sector? Homeowners tend to get a lot of attention in the media but the rental sector is enormous with 700,000 people living in leased houses and apartments.

Of course August is a particularly bad time of year? It certainly is. There are first-year third-level students looking for accommodation for the first time. And all those students returning from their summer break are also putting pressure on the rental sector. One of the solutions for students would be “digs”.

But students don’t like digs? Pity about them. And sure wouldn’t they get their dinner cooked for them too.