1,000 people see Cork townhouse available for £2,750 a month
Rental agents in Munster advertise rental properties online for just an hour due to the overwhelming response from desperate house hunters.
A property offered for rent in Cork City yesterday at €2,750 a month attracted nearly 1,000 views last night.
Within the first hour of posting a rental advert in Limerick, up to 100 inquiries were received as rental offices were unable to handle the deluge.
“We have to remove properties after the first hour because we literally can’t handle the volume of enquiries,” said Tony Wallace, head of property management at Rooney Auctioneers in Limerick.
“We have to be very strategic when we set it up so we’re ready for the phone to ring, because it rings almost immediately,” Wallace said.
Mr Wallace said there was a shortage of one and two bedroom properties in Limerick city centre.
Mark Rose of Rose Property Services in Cork told thethat properties in Cork City costing less than €1,000 are not even advertised, as word of mouth means they are filled immediately.
The city’s first rental apartment scheme will open later this year in Lancaster Gate, with rent for a one-bed property priced at £990. Developed by Cluid, an approved housing body (AHB), the 73 rental units represent the first installment of a total of 750 planned for the city.
Sinn Féin TD Thomas Gould criticized the pricing structure, saying rent will cost up to 60% of tenants’ income, while the recommended proportion does not exceed 33%.
Meanwhile, new figures released yesterday by the Institute for Economic and Social Research showed that more than half of tenant households depend on some form of state support.
Nearly 293,673 households received subsidies for their housing costs in 2020, compared to 134,973 in 1994.
This equates to 16% of households overall and 54% of renters.
Since the last figures compiled in 1994, support has shifted from housing provided by local authorities and approved housing organizations to cost subsidy in the private rental sector.
A combination of Housing Assistance Payment (Hap), Rental Housing Program (Ras) and Rent Supplement is used to help one in three assisted tenants today, up from one in five in the early 1990s.
The other supported tenants are in “traditional” social housing made available by local authorities or approved housing organisations.
The report finds that direct and indirect supports contribute “tremendously” to improving affordability for the households that receive them.
The median rent-to-income ratio for subsidized tenants is just under half of what it is for non-subsidized tenants, after controlling for housing type, location and quality.
However, he identifies problems with the degree of targeting of these housing benefits.
Many low-income tenants receive no assistance with their housing costs and face high rent-to-income ratios, researchers found, while nearly one in five tenants receiving assistance are in half top of the income distribution.
Qualifying criteria for housing benefits have become more restrictive in recent years, they said, with the share of households eligible to apply for housing benefits falling from 46.8% to 33.9% between 2011 and 2019, ” in large part because of the freezing of most income ceilings”.
That means rent limits for Hap cover a very small share of properties, the report says, especially in adult-only towns.
In Dublin, only 6% of one-bedroom rentals recorded in 2020 were below the maximum rent allowed for single adults claiming Hap, while only seven of 31 local authorities had at least a quarter of one-bedroom rentals below the boundaries.
“Part of this is because rents for new rentals increased by 24% between 2017 – when these rent limits were last revised – and 2020, but it also reflects differences in coverage. between counties when introduced.
“There are substantial variations between local authorities in the level of support provided to otherwise identical households: more than nine in 10 supported tenants have their rent contributions – and therefore their level of support – determined by the system of differential rent from their local authority.
These vary enormously in their design from one local authority to another, leading to otherwise identical households receiving different levels of support.
For example, a single parent with two children earning €25,000 a year would pay a contribution of only €226 per month to South Dublin County Council, €313 per month to Donegal, but €450 per month to Meath.
Barra Roantree, one of the authors of the report, said this raises questions about the quality of targeting of such aid.
When asked if the supply of Hap could continue indefinitely, Social Care Minister Heather Humphreys said payment would be provided as needed for those who cannot pay rents, but the government believes that an increase in the supply of housing would solve the “heart of the problem”.