Rents in Westmeath were 11.3 per cent higher in the first quarter of 2016 when compared with the same time last year, according to the latest quarterly rental report by Daft.ie The average advertised rent is now €671, up 27 per cent from the lowest point in 2013.
Nationwide rents rose by an average of 2 per cent in the first quarter of 2016. This latest increase means that the national monthly rent nationwide in March was €1,006, the first time since May 2008 that it has been above €1,000.
In Dublin, the annual rate of inflation was 8.8 per cent and rent in the capital is now 1.3 per cent higher than the previous peak in early 2008. The highest rate of inflation countrywide was in Cork City, where rents rose by 16 per cent in 12 months.
Nonetheless, there were strong increases in rent costs in other cities, with Galway experiencing an increase of 12.7 per cent. Rents in Limerick have risen 12.4 per cent in the last year while rents in Waterford city are up 11.1 per cent. Outside the major cities, rents have increased by 8.7 per cent.
Supply on the market on May 1 this year was at its lowest point on record, with fewer than 3,100 properties available to rent nationwide. A year previously, that figure was 4,300 and in 2009 there were 23,000 homes available to rent. Availability in Dublin remains very low, with just 1,100 homes on the market at the start of May compared to an average of 3,800 for the decade 2006 to 2015.
Commenting on the report, Ronan Lyons, economist at TCD and author of the Daft Report, said: “The severe shortage of rental accommodation has worsened in the last three months, a phenomenon reflected in rapidly rising rents in all parts of the country. With the formation of a new government, a top priority must be to address the lack of housing of all kinds, including homes to rent. This involves understanding the costs of construction, which are out of line with average incomes.”