The country’s largest private housing landlord, Ires Reit, said it is expecting political uncertainty over rent controls following the general election to last for a number of months, while the supply of new housing remains “constrained”.
The stockmarket-listed firm which owns housing units in Dublin city centre and suburbs, as well as in Cork, said revenues it generates from the 3,666 apartments it owns were up in 2019 from the previous year, but profit fell to €86.3m from €119.8m due to a lower revaluation gain.
The company said that all the factors driving demand for rented properties were firmly in place. Those included a rising population, inward investment, while “at the same time supply continues to be constrained”.
“Following the recent general election in Ireland, there is increased uncertainty in relation to future Government policy on housing and regulation of the private rental market, particularly in relation to rent regulation,” said chief executive Margaret Sweeney, in the earnings release.
Sinn Féin and other parties proposed in the election campaign to extend rent controls if they come to power. The latest CSO figures showed rents rose last month by almost 4% from January 2019.
Shares in Ires rose 1.2% in the latest session and have gained 8.6% in the past year, valuing the firm at just over €824.2m.
Around a third of its apartments are located in Dublin City centre and south Dublin where it secured median rents of over €1,750 a month per apartment and an occupancy rate of almost 100%.
Fifty apartments it owns in Harty’s Quay in Cork generate an average monthly rent of almost €1,200 a month, and an occupancy rate of 92%.
The company said political uncertainty will likely last “until a new Government is formed and provides greater clarity of policy intentions”.
It said its property holdings and “pipeline” gave it potential for significant growth.