Sinn Féin housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin has said that “the latest Daft.ie rent report demonstrated the need for urgent action”. The Dublin Mid West TD called for “an immediate rent freeze on all new and existing tenancies” and “major investment in a programme of affordable cost rental accommodation”.
He also accused the Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy of “sleepwalking through a disorderly exist of properties from the private rental market”.
Deputy Ó Broin said:
“The Q1 2019 Daft.ie rent report makes for grim reading. It shows the cost of new tenancies continues to spiral upwards while the number of available properties continues to plummet.
“The average new rent across the state is now €1,366 while the number of available properties is the lowest since the Daft.ie reports started in 2006.
“Every single county recorded rent increases above the Rent Pressure Zone cap of 4%. Thirteen counties had double digit rental inflation. All counties outside Dublin witnessed rent increases of over 8%, with Waterford hitting 16%, and Galway almost hitting 17%.
“While the annual increase in Dublin was the lowest across the state, it was still a shocking 7% with rents in the capital ranging from €1,671 per month to €2,190 per month depending on location.
“All of this is happening against a backdrop of a massive loss of properties to the rental market. According to the Residential Tenancies Board over 12,000 properties have left the market since the start of 2017. The vast majority of these are accidental and semi-professional landlords either under pressure from their lenders to sell or taking advantage of the rise in house prices to get out of the rental market.
“The Governments rental sector strategy is not working. The Rent Pressure Zones are now effectively meaningless for new renters.
“Meanwhile, Minister Eoghan Murphy is sleepwalking through a disorderly exit of properties from the private rental sector.
“All of this demonstrates the need for radical action. It demonstrates the need for an immediate rent freeze for existing and new tenancies combined with a refundable renters tax credit worth a month’s rent. It also demonstrates the need for a major programme of Government investment in affordable cost rental accommodation by Local Authorities and Approved Housing Bodies.
“While the Minister lauds vulture fund investment in buying up blocks of apartments or applying to build so called shared accommodation, none of this will assist in addressing the rental crisis if the accommodation is not genuinely affordable. The time for half measures is over. We need urgent action to end the crisis in the rental sector.”