‘Bleak’ Irish rental market out of control, charity claims

Minister says options to lift housing supply being sought amid calls for rent freeze

Rents in Dublin are now 36 per cent, some €520 a month, higher than their previous peak a little over a decade ago. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Rents in Dublin are now 36 per cent, some €520 a month, higher than their previous peak a little over a decade ago. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

 

Continued nationwide rent increases are “unsustainable and out of control”, the chair of housing charity Threshold has said.

Aideen Hayden was responding to a Daft.ie report which found that the average national rent now stands at €1,334 a month, some €300 more expensive than during the height of the Celtic Tiger. Rents increased by 11.3 per cent in the year to September, and trends show no sign of a slowdown.

In Dublin, rents went up by 10.9 per cent in the year to September. Rents in the capital are now 36 per cent, some €520 a month, higher than their previous peak a little over a decade ago.

The situation for renters was “bleak” and this uncertainty was likely to continue next year, Ms Hayden said.

“The issue here is lack of availability, leading to lack of affordability, compounded by a lack of enforcement of rent pressure zone legislation, which caps rent increases at 4 per cent per year,” she said.

Areas covered by the rent cent caps include Dublin and parts of Cork, Galway, Kildare, Wicklow, Meath and Louth.

Sinn Féin housing spokesman Eoin Ó Broin said the rent caps were “clearly not working for new entrants to the rental market, or people who have to move”.

“The time for a measured response to this crisis has long passed. We need to see an immediate three-year rent freeze introduced,” he said, adding that tenants were at the “bottom of the pile” when it came to Government priorities.

‘Worrying’ increases

Fianna Fáil housing spokesman Darragh O’Brien said the survey showed soaring rents were not solely an issue for tenants in Dublin.

“The reality is that rent in Cork city and other main Irish cities is creeping up behind prices in the capital, these increases outside of Dublin are very worrying,” he added.

Social Democrats co-leader Catherine Murphy said the rising rates were having a “major impact” on the quality of people’s lives.

“There is no just way that ordinary workers, people with families and young people, can continue to pay rents at these astronomical levels,” Ms Murphy said.

Asked about the survey on Monday, Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said it was obvious that rising rents were causing “much anxiety” for people.

“This is something that we have to change. This is why we are so committed and taking so many steps to increase the supply of homes and accommodation within Dublin,” he told reporters.

Mr Donohoe said Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy was looking for ways to “increase the supply of housing”.

“The figures that have become available today indicate to us that we need to keep at this work to try to get rents to a place where they are more affordable and more sustainable than they are the moment.”