Laois recorded the second fastest rate of rent increase nationally, according to latest official figures from the private rental market regulator.
The reality facing people who need to rent a home is also confirmed by an average rent increase of nearly €100 last year with people living in Portlaoise facing continous rent rises of more than 7% for more a year and half.
The latest Rent Index from the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB), in the October-December period (Q4) of 2018 shows that the standardised average monthly rent on tenancies in Laois was €840 up from €745 (+€95) one year earlier and up €15 on the previous quarter (Q3 2018).
This is a 12.7% rate of rent growth. It is is double that rate at which rents have grown nationally.
The average national rent was €1,134 per month, up €73 or a 6% increase. However, this average is heavily influenced by rents paid in the greater Dublin, which rose by 7% last year to €1,650.
Laois rents have surged ahead of the rents charged in comparable parts of Ireland. The standardised average rent for outside the greater Dublin area (GDA Meath, Wicklow, Kildare) stood at €833 in Q4 2018, up from €789 the previous year.
Laois was below the national average by the end of 2017 for rents charged outside the GDA.
The figures also reveal that Laois was second only to Cavan in terms of rate of increase. It was also one of eight counties that recorded a double digit rate of increase. Dublin rates increased by nearly 8%.
The breakdown by county council municipal district reveals the highest rents in the Portlaoise area. Rents in the area, which takes in Abbeyleix and Ballinakill, were €956.15.
Rents have risen by more than 7% in the district for each quarter since the middle of 2017.
Rents charged in the Graiguecullen - Portarlington district were just 19 cent short of €900 by the end of last year. Rents grew by more than 7% in this district for each quarter in 2018.
Rents in the Borris-in-Ossory Mountmellick district had reached almost €750 by the end of last year and had risen by more than 7% in each three month period during the second have of 2018.
No part of Laois qualifies to become a rent pressure zone that would cap incresseases at 4%. This is because the rents charged are below the national average.
The RTB says its Rent Index, which is compiled in conjunction with the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), is the authoritative guide to the Irish rental market. It is based on actual rents paid on 17,830 tenancies registered with the RTB in the quarter.
Commenting on the latest Rent Index results, Rosalind Carroll, Director of the Residential Tenancies, said it has been another year with continued pressures in the market and continued rent inflation, with rents now 15% higher nationally.
“We would encourage both landlords and tenants to contact us for more information on their rights and obligations and we will be rolling out a targeted information campaign in these areas over the coming weeks,” she said.