Renters leaving Dublin are facing supply issues and rising rents in other urban centres such as Cork and Galway, the housing charity Threshold has said.
The charity was commenting on the latest quarterly rental report by Daft.ie, which found that over the past year rents in Dublin saw the largest decrease since 2010 (3.3%), but increased in Cork (4.8%), Galway (4.6%), Limerick (3.9%), and Waterford (5.6%) cities.
Threshold chief executive John-Mark McCafferty said the trends suggest that working renters are leaving the capital as companies continue to facilitate remote working during the pandemic, but also point to limited supplies and rising rents outside of Dublin.
The Daft.ie report highlighted supply issues across Munster, where just 462 homes were available to rent on February 1 – the lowest figure recorded over the past 14 years.
Supply issues were also evident in Leinster and Connacht-Ulster, where the number of available rental properties on February 1 was half or almost half of what was available a year ago – 373 homes in Leinster (excluding Dublin) and 304 homes in Connacht-Ulster.
Rents across the Munster region also increased by 4.6% between September and December last year – the largest three-month spike in rents since 2006.
Mr McCafferty said the findings were borne out on the ground, where the charity’s housing access unit in Cork had struggled to source accommodation for people leaving homeless services.
“Our Access Housing Unit in Cork has found it really difficult to identify and source accommodation,” he said.
Despite much of Cork being designated a rent pressure zone, rents increased by 8.9% across the county over the past year – more than double the permitted 4%, he added.
The average cost of renting a room in Galway city also saw a “massive” increase of 20.9% over the past year, he said, despite an expectation that more student accommodation would become available.
“This is an unexpected increase that shows again how those in rent-a-room scenarios are not afforded the same protections as other renters,” he said.
Mr McCafferty said a “pick-up” in supply due to the availability of student, Airbnb, and short-let accommodation was not a long-term solution to housing needs, although he welcomed the development of cost-rental housing schemes this year.
On Monday, housing minister Darragh O’Brien gave the green light for 390 cost-rental homes being developed by the Clúid, Respond, and Tuath housing bodies in Dublin and Cork this year. The schemes will offer properties at no more than 75% of market rents.
“For it to be truly affordable for households accessing cost-rental units, a good number will still need to access the housing assistance payment to support their rent,” said Mr McCafftery.