The most recent property report shows that almost 20% of Ireland’s population is housed within Ireland’s private rented sector the maximum proportion of personal tenants since quarterly records commenced. In Dublin, the percentage numbers stands at 25%.
Ireland’s private rented sector continues to expand, with almost 900,000 (which is just 100,000 short of one million) people moving into rented accommodation a 40,000 increase in the last year since November 2016.
Furthermore, the report notes a rise in the size of rental households, and this is now at its most significant since quarterly records began. The standard home size has been on a markedly upward tend since the start of 2016, with the four-quarter moving average increasing gradually from 2.7 to 2.8 people.
The vacancy rate in the private rented sector remains slim, with the estimated vacancy rate now standing just 1.31% Nationwide.
Report analysis also suggests that rents will keep increasing until the vacancy rate touches its ‘equilibrium’ level of 5.6%. Nevertheless this will not happen within the foreseeable future and so the outlook is for further rental inflation.
For example in Dublin, where rental growth is controlled by legislation, the report is showing 5 to 6% rent hike year on year until up to the end of 2019 to the start of 2020, whereas outside Dublin an average increase of 7.2% is estimated.
Roughly about 200,000 private rented sector units are owned outright by investors – 61.1% of Ireland’s estimated private rented sector stock.
The remainder – around 125,000 private rented sector properties – are held by debt financed investors. This kind of number has declined by an estimate 23,000 since the second quarter in 2012 and 34% of the decline (-8,000 units) occurred last year in 2016.
The continued growth of Ireland’s private hired sector should never come as a surprise. Property prices are still rising faster than average earnings, creating an affordability challenge to most home-owners which is what driving most people in to the rented sector.
As predicted in 2016, there has been a surge in cash investors who are attracted by capital gain and low void risk, strong rents and the spread between residential makes and the returns that are available on bonds and deposits.