The Covid-19 outbreak has prompted an increase in the number of rental listings in Dublin - but that picture is not being replicated elsewhere in the country.
The virus outbreak has caused a collapse in tourism, resulting in hundreds of one and two-bed properties being taken off short-term rental sites like AirBnb and, instead, listed on the private rental market.
It had prompted calls for a stricter clampdown on the use of properties for short-term rentals but analysis of the market shows that the increase in private rentals is almost entirely concentrated on the Dublin market.
In Munster, there were 646 properties listed to rent on Wednesday, including just 136 in Cork city, 54 in Limerick city and 50 in Waterford city.
In its rental report for the first quarter of 2019, Daft.ie identified 570 properties to rent in Munster, which was the lowest figure on record.
By the end of 2019, this had increased to 633, just 13 fewer than the number listed today, indicating that the tourism slowdown has had little impact on the rental market outside the capital.
Meanwhile, according to InsideAirbnb, an independent website which tracks Airbnb data and listings, there were almost 16,000 ’’entire homes’’ available to rent on the short-term rental site.
This included 211 in Cork city, 630 in Galway city, 62 in Limerick city, and 94 in Waterford city. There were also still 3,930 in Dublin city.
Ronan Lyons, economist at Trinity College Dublin and author of the Daft.ie rental reports, said the increase in rental listings is almost entirely concentrated on small properties in Dublin.
"It’’s the one to two bed segment in central Dublin that is driving the national increase in rental listings, accounting for just under two-thirds (210 of 334) of the additional listings this year compared to last," he said.
Mr Lyons said this suggests that more restrictions on short-term lets may not result in a huge increase in rental properties throughout the country.
"On the one hand, this supports the anecdotes being shared about short-term lets making their way on to the long-term rental market, now that the city-break market is completely on hold for the next few months if not longer.
"On the other hand, it also speaks to the potentially limited scale that this transition will have," he said.
"It, of course, remains to be seen how deep the real economic effects are, in terms of lost incomes and jobs and potentially out-migration, but Dublin’’s underlying shortage of rental homes is in the tens of thousands, while this effect is, so far at least, just in the hundreds.
"Therefore, those suggesting that the demise of the short-term let will ’’solve’’ Ireland’’s housing/rental crisis are likely to be disappointed."
Mr Lyons was unable to give an exact reason why the situation has not been replicated in other cities around the country, but said it was most likely a matter of scale.
"There is no obvious answer but perhaps the intensity is just different," he said.
Before the recent flurry of new rental listings, Dublin had approximately 5,000 properties listed on Airbnb, some 20 times more than Cork, despite the city only being about four times the size of Cork.
"What remains could well be people happy to decamp for a weekend if the price is right, rather than true full-time short-term let supply," he added.