One-day rent survey finds no two-bed Dublin properties below €900

Unaffordable rents are now number one issue for St Vincent de Paul’s clients

Single-earner families and working single parents on an average annual wage could not secure a two-bedroom property within the Dublin 1 to 24 postcodes for €900 a month. Photograph: thinkstock

Single-earner families and working single parents on an average annual wage could not secure a two-bedroom property within the Dublin 1 to 24 postcodes for €900 a month. Photograph: thinkstock

 

One-salary families are being squeezed out of the rental market in Dublin because of high rents, a search of the country’s two biggest property websites indicates.

The search, conducted in the two days after Budget 2016, found that single-earner families and working single parents on an average annual wage could not secure a two-bedroom property within the Dublin 1 to 24 postcodes for €900 a month.

The €900 cap was reached by taking the estimated average annual earnings, which stood at €35,768 in 2014, and applying an internationally cited (and sometimes contested) rule of thumb that says rent should not exceed 30 per cent of income.

The head of social justice at the Society of St Vincent de Paul, John Mark McCaffrey, expresses little surprise at the findings, saying that rents are now the “number one issue” for the people the charity helps. “We are beyond crisis now,” he says. “Private rental has become the preserve of middle- and upper-income earners, while single earners – even those on a moderate income – are being priced out.”

Rental rates by location across Dublin

Nor is it just a Dublin phenomenon. “We’ve come from a situation, two summers ago, when we were talking about how acute it was becoming in the Greater Dublin Area and the larger cities . . . Now the problem of finding the mixture of affordability, quality and availability is also spreading to provincial towns and villages.”

Fr Seán Healy of Social Justice Ireland says current rents mean that many in middle-income Ireland, whom he classifies as those earning between €25,000 and €40,000 a year, are being pushed out of the rental market. “Demand far exceeds supply. The basic rule of economics is, where that happens the price goes up. The solution has to be found by balancing supply and demand.”

Fr Healy says that the Government’s housing strategy between now and 2020 is to create social housing for only part of the current waiting list, with the rest coming from the private rental sector. “That’s not going to happen, because the supply is not there to deal with this.

The average rent for a house, apartment or flat in Dublin, both city and county, was €1,184 a month in June, according to the Private Residential Tenancies Board. Based on the average annual earnings, a one-salary household would spend 40 per cent of their wages on rent.

The Irish Times searched MyHome.ie and Daft.ie on Thursday, October 15th. It returned no results for families with a rental budget of €900, equivalent to 30 per cent of the wage of a single adult earning the average wage of €35,768, as estimated by the Central Statistics Office for 2014.

Properties were excluded only where an advertisement stipulated certain conditions, such as students only. The sole other consideration was that each member of the family should get a bed space.

No properties costing less than €1,000 a month were available on either site, and above that only 10 properties were being advertised.