Seanad debates

Thursday, 12 May 2022

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business

 

10:30 am

Photo of Sharon KeoganSharon Keogan (Independent)

This morning saw the publication of the first quarter Irish rental report by Daft and it paints a stark picture of the housing situation in Ireland. Market rents are at a record high, with inflation close to record rates since 2005. The average market rent per month rose from just over €1,400 a year ago to €1,567 in the first quarter of 2022. This level of rent is over twice the low of €765 per month of just over a decade ago in late 2011. It is more than 50% higher than the Celtic tiger economy peak of €1,030 per month in the first quarter of 2008. That is an astounding figure. I doubt that the people walking in the streets of Dublin would say that it feels like we are back in the Celtic tiger economy by any other metric.

However, sky-high rents are not the only prong of the fork poking the Irish people. The availability of new rental homes has utterly collapsed since 2019. On 1 May this year, there were 850 homes available to rent nationwide. That is down 77% year on year and, frankly, is an unprecedented number in a series extending back to the start of 2006. The average number of homes available to rent nationwide at any given point in time over the 15-year period from 2006 to 2021 was nearly 9,200, which is over ten times the supply available today. Granted this figure does not account for the rentals offered by multi-unit rentals but ,even so, the current analysis by Daft predicts that there are not enough multi-unit rental developments, perhaps only a few hundred homes, to overturn the extraordinary tightening in rental supply in the traditional rental market.

The release of this report is timely as it coincides with the conclusion of the Housing Commission's conference on a referendum on housing in Ireland. Nobody has mentioned that in this House over the last number of days. On that front, I find myself agreeing with my colleague, Senator McDowell, and I understand the frustration that this was caused by the failure of successive Governments to tackle the housing crisis. I am sympathetic to those who would seek recourse through the Judiciary through the enforcement of a constitutional right to housing, but I believe that the implementation of a solution to this crisis is the remit of the Executive and that is where the pressure must be applied.

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