Rents are rising at a faster rate in Laois than Dublin and now is in the top three counties where rents are growing the fastest, according to website which has just 26 homes listed for rent in the county.
The cost of renting has now risen in money terms by more than 50 per cent from its lowest point during the recession.
Nationally rents grew by an average of 13.4% in the year to March 2017, says the the Daft.ie Rental Price Report.
In Laois, rents were on average 16.6% higher in the first three months of 2017 than a year previously. The average advertised rent is now €769, up 53% from its lowest point.
In real terms, familes are facing high rental costs in Laois where demand is highest. A three bed semi-detached in Liogard Portlaoise costs €900 a month.
The average monthly rent nationwide during the first quarter of 2017 was €1,131, the fourth quarter in a row that a new all-time high has been set. The rate of inflation represents only a slight slowdown in inflation from the rate recorded in the final quarter of 2016 (13.5%), which was the largest on record.
In Dublin, the increase in rents in the year to March 2017 was 13.9%. Rents in the capital are now 15.4% higher than their previous peak in early 2008 – an average of almost €225 a month. In Cork, rents rose by 10.4% in the year to March, the tenth quarter of double-digit growth in rents. Rents in Galway saw a similar rate of increase, rising by 10.6% in a year, while rents in Limerick have risen 12.6% in the same period.
In Waterford city, rents have risen by 10.2% in twelve months, while outside the cities, rents have risen by 13.2%.
Responding to the figures, Sinn Féin TD Brian Stanley said that the housing policies being pursued by the Government and supported by Fianna Fáil are a total failure.
“The figures in this latest report are very worrying and show that the housing crisis is escalating to alarming levels. While the report says that the average rent in Laois is now €769 per month, a 16.6% increase in 12 months, the ceiling for a family of four for receipt of Rent Supplement or for the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) Scheme is just €610 per month. This huge discrepancy puts a huge financial strain on low income families who are in rented accommodation.
“The token efforts by the Government on rent control i.e. the designation of Rent Pressure Zones, does not include Laois. In reply to my Dáil Question Minister Coveney said annual rent inflation had to exceed 7% in 4 of the last 6 quarters for an area to be included and Laois does not qualify.
The solution is to introduce proper rent controls with rent increases linked to inflation. In addition the Affordable Housing Scheme needs to be re-opened; Local Authorities need to build thousands more houses and provide Cost to Rent Homes as promised in the Programme for Government.”