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26 Sept 2022

‘Tears’ in Laois as there are no homes to rent

Local estate agents seeing unprecedented situation

housing

Pictured earlier in 2022 at Gleann na Glaise Housing Development in Ballyroan was Housing Minister Darragh O'Brien and Minister Sean Fleming . Photo: Michael Scully

The lack of rental properties in Laois is very worrying and leaving people in tears, a local auctioneer has said.

Speaking after official figures shows standarised Laois rents are now above €1,000 a month Caroline Bergin of CBPM Real Estate in Portlaoise spoke about what she has witnessed the impact of the crisis in supply first hand.

“There are people coming in in tears. I am in the business 20 years in rentals and I have never, ever, ever seen anything like it,” she said.

Speaking to the Leinster Express last Thursday, July 28 Mrs Bergin outlined the stark reality of supply problems.

“Yesterday was the first day I have ever seen nothing(rentals) for the whole of Laois,” she said.

She said a lack of stock, tax, the cap on rent increases and rising house prices are leading to landlords exiting the market.

“Not to have one property for rent in Laois is very, very scary at this time,” she added.

According to Mrs Bergin a lot of landlords are private investors who would have gotten into the market in 2007 or 2008 just before the crash. She claims they would have gone through negative equity but are now able to profit from the sale of those properties.

“Nearly every second landlord is selling up because there is no incentive to stay in,” she said.

She doesn’t see a resolution to the problem any time soon.

“I find developers are very cagey. They will buy land but they are not going in straight away,” she explained.

Mrs Bergin said incentives are needed to bring landlords back into the market. She said the Government need to “get rid” of the rent pressure zones and consider tax breaks.

In Portarlington, DNG’s Ruth Kelly remarked on the amount of people who are coming into the office looking for places to rent.

“There is just nothing whatsoever” for renters.

She said the people that are on their books are rented and aren’t moving.

Last Wednesday, a search of myhome.ie, sherry fitzgerald and Daft.ie revealed just one three bed house available for rent and it cost €1,300 a month .

Rents in Laois rose by 7.8 % in a year putting the county in the top ten most expensive rental counties in Ireland.

The Residential Tenancies Board (RTB)’s new figures for the first three months of the year reveal that average rent in Laois is now €1,069, up from €992 for the same period last year and more than double the average €522 from 10 years ago in 2012.

Rents in Laois are now the highest in the midlands and more expensive than Waterford city, where the figure is €1,054. The RTB figures cover the period from January to March 2022.

Laois remains below the national average of €1,460 per month and below the yearly increase of 9.2%.

However, renters in the Portlaoise and the Portarlington Local Electoral areas who are supposed to be insulated from big and continuos rises are under pressure.

The RTB report shows that the rent in Portlaoise is now €1,109.51. It's risen by more than 7% in each quarter since the winter of 2021. In the Port Graigue district, rents have risen by more than 7% in each of the last four quarters since last summer. Rent is now €1,012.47 per month in the large district.

There are no figures for the Borris in Ossory Mountmellick because it is not in a rent pressure zone.

Laois was one of fourteen counties to have standardised average rents in new tenancies above €1,000 per month in Q1 2022.

The highest standardised average rent in new tenancies for Q1 2022 was in Dublin at €2,015 per month while the lowest monthly rents were in Leitrim, where the standardised average rent in new tenancies stood at €734 per month.

The RTB Rent Index is based on the total private tenancies newly registered with RTB each quarter. It is independently analysed by the Economic and Social Research Institute.

The Index provides rental indicators based on actual rents paid in the private rental sector in Ireland.

RTB Director Niall Byrne said: “The latest Rent Index, which is based on new tenancies registered with the RTB in the first quarter of 2022, shows continued growth in rents nationally with a yearly increase of 9.2%. We also see a continued fall in the number of tenancies that were registered with the RTB in Q1 2022. These results are likely still indirectly impacted by COVID-19 public health measures along with constraints in supply and tenants choosing to stay longer in their existing tenancies. In reading the Index, it is also important to note that these results only provide us with a snapshot into a small proportion of the private rental sector in Ireland.”

Mr Byrne said: “The RTB would like to remind landlords that annual registration was introduced on 4 April 2022 requiring landlords to register their tenancies on a yearly basis.”

He also noted “there were new changes to rental legislation which took effect on 6 July 2022 in relation to how a landlord can end a tenancy. To find out what these changes mean for landlords and tenants, please visit our website at www.rtb.ie.”

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