Private rents hit a new peak last month, growing by 1.2% and surpassing rent levels over previous 2008 highs, when the Irish economy was booming. The figures from the Central Statistics Office show a price growth of 35% between the lowest point, in 2010, and now.
In fact, Ireland is almost at the top of average rental prices in Europe, only behind the UK and Luxembourg.
According to the Housing Agency, demands on the private rental sector have increased substantially, with almost 1 in 5 households now in the private rented sector compared with 1 in 10 in 2006.
This week we talked about how the house prices are growing all around the country (outside Dublin). Together, these two facts show signs of a real housing crisis which is causing an increase in the number of people in emergency accommodation, a situation that could worsen if Ireland’s population continues to grow.
To put an end to this situation, many voices are calling for “rent controls” that are already being debated by the government. Another solution could be to simply build more houses. The last report by the Housing Agency expects a continuous increase in housing demand and explains it is necessary to meet it by boosting construction, but the fears created by the crash of the last property bubble in 2008 are still fresh in people’s minds.