There has been a noticeable increase in demand for rental properties in Galway of late, compounded by additional property buyers being held back by restrictive bank lending, increasing employment, and the general increase in population. According to local property letting agents, there has been a ‘surprise spike’ in queries in recent months, and rental properties are being snapped up within days of becoming available. They expect that rising demand for rental properties will continue for the foreseeable future but caution that it can still be a tough business.
Residential rental specialist Michael Fahy, senior of City Property Services, said that activity in the rental market is incredible especially in these leaner times; “We are inundated with renters looking for good quality accommodation in the city centre and the surrounding suburban areas. In the last two weeks we have let 12 properties and that would have been 50 if we had the stock, even at this late stage in the year. We rented a three bed house recently on the Knocknacarra road and it rented on the same day as the old tenant vacated.. That is incredible activity for the economic times we are in – we have had to increase our staff to eight members, just to keep up with the demand. In the 10 years since we bought our new premises on Prospect hill, I have not seen the like of the amount of people coming through the office door seeking accommodation, and amazingly are doing so to try and get a head start on those searching on Daft.ie ”
Mr Fahy said that City Property Services primarily tries to cater for its existing 800 or more tenants that need to move first, which is now proving to be even more difficult due to limited stock. “It is easy to rent property now but it is as difficult as ever finding the right person,” he said. “We have it down to a fine art at this stage but we have many private landlords approaching us to help them remove problematic tenants. We do this work regularly but problematic tenants can be a nightmare, especially when they try to hide behind the legislation designed for genuine cases, so correct selection from the outset is vital. Professional property rental needs to take a thorough, respectful, and no nonsense approach with both sides, the tenant and the landlord.”
Local estate agents have experienced a surge in sales of late, many of which are being sold to investors according to his property industry colleague, Niall Browne of O’Donnellan & Joyce. Michael Fahy believes this is good news as there is a need for more stock on the rental market to meet demand. However, he cautioned that there would be less demand for poorly maintained rental properties. Tenants are very energy conscious and are looking for well maintained homes, especially the ones that have had an insulation upgrade. Warm homes rent very well and a good tenant is easier find when the house is right. Best of all, they generally want to stay in one property longer which is good for landlords too.
According to Daft.ie, rents are rising by more than two per cent per year in Galway. On the ground this is far too general and one needs to be more specific. A landlord is better off with a good tenant paying marginally less than the going rate as opposed to the reverse. That said, the average property rents for about €25 per month more than this time last year. Some do better, some do worse, but of course location is the most important factor but condition and energy ratings can have a strong impact too.
City Property Services is located at 67 Prospect Hill and can be contacted on (091) 562725 or through the website www.citypropertygalway.com