'People seem to be using telephone numbers' to price €20k house rents for Irish Open

'People seem to be using telephone numbers' to price €20k house rents for Irish Open

Accommodation for the Event (AFTE), a website which specialises in accommodation for major golf events, has hundreds of properties listed near Mount Juliet Estate in Co. Kilkenny where the Irish Open will take place later this week. Homes on the website are anywhere from €2,000 to €40,000, with many around €20,000 for a week.

Homeowners are aiming to make upwards of €20,000 this weekend by renting their houses out for the Irish Open, as concerns mount over sky-high accommodation prices this summer.

Accommodation for the Event (AFTE), a website which specialises in accommodation for major golf events, has hundreds of properties listed near Mount Juliet Estate in Co. Kilkenny where the tournament will take place later this week. Homes on the website are anywhere from €2,000 to €40,000, with many around €20,000 for a week.

Michael Kilcoyne, chair of the Consumers’ Association of Ireland, said “people seem to be using telephone numbers” for prices now.

“Anyone from around the world that is thinking about coming to Ireland and would log into this website and see the cost of accommodation – there’s probably places in the world where they’re guaranteed the sun and they can rent a place for six months for that kind of money,” he said.

Mr Kilcoyne said prices have “gone off the rails” and tourists will return to their home countries and tell others about the sky-high prices of accommodation, renting a car and the cost of living in Ireland.

Brian Higgins, accommodation manager at AFTE, said he didn’t think the listings were necessarily too expensive and there has been a strong uptake in properties for the Irish Open. 

“A lot of them would be at market value, even some of them would be below,” he said.

AFTE gives homeowners a guiding price to give them an idea of how much similar properties have been rented for in the past, but ultimately the homeowners make the decision on the price of the listing. Mr Higgins said there is a fee of €195 to make their home available for listing on the website.

Mr Higgins said they receive many queries from companies looking to rent groups of houses for “employee bonding” or “client networking”.

He said people tend to play golf early in the day in nearby courses before attending the event in the afternoon, and often only use the properties only as a “base” to sleep in.

“Renting local homes close to the venue during large events like this is definitely a growing trend,” he said. His company tries to ensure it is “more cost-effective” for event attendees to stay in a family home rather than a hotel, Mr Higgins said.

One homeowner near the golf course in Thomastown advertised his property for €50,000 for the week. When asked about this price, he said he was “only blaggarding” and didn’t expect it to get rented. However, he said it would have been subject to 48% tax and said he “would be doing well to come out with €20,000 for the week”.

He said others in the local area have offered their properties for anywhere between €5,000 and €15,000 but there hasn’t been a strong uptake. Tourism Ireland’s priority for 2022 is to restart overseas tourism, however high accommodation prices are “not helpful”, a spokesperson said.

High rates this summer are down to “strong demand from overseas visitors, inflationary pressure and labour shortages”, she said.

The 2022 Horizon Irish Open will take place from Thursday, June 30 to Sunday, July 3.

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