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Rents surge in Clare with few properties available to let

Average rent sought in Clare in Q2 climbs to €1,009

THE average price sought for a rental property in Clare now exceeds €1,000, as the market continues to get hotter and hotter.
According to the latest Daft.ie report, the average rent sought in Clare in the second quarter of the year was €1,009.
This was up by nearly 4% on the first quarter of the year, and by almost 15% compared to the same time last year.
The change from the low point of the market has been quite dramatic, with a rise of 91.6% seen in Clare.
Clearly supply is at a premium in the Banner at the moment, with just 20 properties available for rent on daft.ie on Monday. Of these, nine came with monthly rents of €1,000 or more.  Ten of the properties only had two bedrooms, indicating a tiny amount of suitable options for families.
At the moment research from Daft.ie suggests that it is now cheaper to buy than rent in Clare, with the disparity particularly significant on smaller properties, while buying and renting are very similar in price when it comes to four and five-bedroom houses.
Across the country rents are rising, and In the daft.ie report, Trinity College Economics professor Ronan Lyons says that the overheating market has come about as the country’s population has increased at a historic rate, without enough houses being added.
“It is very likely that Ireland’s population passed the five million mark at some point late last year. If Covid-19 hadn’t happened, we would have seen that confirmed in the 2021 Census – but that has now been pushed back a year.
“Regardless, it means that in the 15 years since the 2006 Census, Ireland has added over 800,000 people to its population. For context, it took Ireland 25 years to add the previous 800,000 people (1981-2016) and for an earlier instance of Ireland adding 800,000 people, you would have to go back to the pre-Famine period.
“But with all that population growth, next-to-no new rental homes have been added.”
He said that rent controls won’t work, and that more houses need to be built and the cost of construction reduced.
“Ireland’s rental sector is something like 50% larger now than 15 years ago but the availability of homes to rent online is half of what it was then.
“Clearly, this is a problem that cannot be solved by simplistic rent controls, which will at best hide the problem and are more likely to bring new forms of ‘equilibration’ – including under-the-counter payments and discrimination of various forms.
“To solve this, instead of wishing the problem away, new rental homes must be built. For this to happen, costs must be brought down.
“A two-bedroom apartment in Waterford will rent for something like €1,000 per month at the moment. The signals from the market are telling us quite clearly that new rental homes are needed.
“But such a home would cost at least €400,000 to build, a figure that would translate in a standard setup to a monthly rent of €1,600, even at a relatively tight annual return to the owner of 4%.
“Squaring that circle – of costs well above affordable rental levels – is the key challenge for policymakers looking to fix Ireland’s rental sector in the 2020s. In other words, despite all the chaos of the last 18 months, it’s the same old story for Ireland’s rental market.”

About Owen Ryan

Owen Ryan has been a journalist with the Clare Champion since 2007, having previously worked for a number of other regional titles in Limerick, Galway and Cork.

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