Number of homes available to rent fell by 20% between March and June, survey finds

Simon Communities report found 2,208 properties listed at any price in 16 areas examined

The deadline for returning updated Local Property Tax valuations to the Revenue Commissioners on November 7th. Photograph: iStock

The deadline for returning updated Local Property Tax valuations to the Revenue Commissioners on November 7th. Photograph: iStock

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There was a 20 per cent decrease in the number of properties available to rent between March and June in 16 areas of the State examined by the Simon Communities of Ireland as part of a periodic survey.

The Locked Out report found there were 2,208 properties available to rent at any price within the 16 areas examined over three dates in June, compared to the 2,757 properties available on three dates in March.

The report also examined the experience of people on low incomes dependent on the housing assistance payment (HAP) for accessing housing on the private rental market.

It considered the availability of properties within the standard and discretionary HAP limits in 16 areas around the country for four household categories: single people, couples, couple/one parent and one child; and couple/one parent and two children.

Of the 2,208 properties available during the three days in June, no properties one-bedroom units were within standard HAP limits for single people across the 16 areas. It found there were 906 properties available to rent within a standard or discretionary HAP limit in at least one of the four household categories, representing 41 per cent of the total properties available.

This was a 14 per cent decrease on the 1,055 properties which were available to rent within at least one HAP category in the December study.

There were just 63 instances of those properties coming within a standard HAP rate in one of the four categories. The rest of the properties within HAP rates required the discretionary HAP top up.

Simon Communities of Ireland head of policy Wayne Stanley said: “The ongoing tightening of supply and erosion of affordability in the private rental market that we are seeing will lead to increased homelessness.

“HAP rates have to be addressed in the short term to keep people in their homes and support them out of homelessness. However, we cannot continue to chase rents and we need delivery of public housing.”

By region, there was an average of 102 properties to rent in Cork city centre over the course of the period, similar to the 105 properties available in March. There were four properties available within any HAP rates. This was up from two properties in March.

In Dublin city centre, there was an average of 524 properties available to rent, which represented a 15.6 per cent decrease on the 621 properties available in March.

There were just three properties available within standard HAP limits. In total there were 168 properties available in at least one household category within standard or homeless HAP rates, which was a decrease on the 222 properties in the March study.

In the west, there was an average of 25 properties available to rent in Galway city centre, which was a 62 per cent drop on the 65 properties in March. There were no properties that fit into any HAP categories.

In Limerick city centre, there was an average of 18 properties available to rent. This was a decrease on the 41 properties available in March. There were no properties available within HAP rates.

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