Rent costs in provincial towns soar by more than 20pc due to housing shortage
Demand for rental properties in provincial towns has pushed prices up by more than 20pc year-on-year as the shortage of new homes coming on stream fuels hikes.
The cost of renting a two-bed apartment and three-bed semi-detached home has increased across most counties, with slight drops only recorded in Carlow, pockets of Tipperary, and Sligo.
The biggest increase is in Laois, which is in high demand from workers commuting to other parts of the country, including Dublin.
On average, the cost of renting a home grew nationally by 8.6pc last year. But an analysis of official data shows that in some areas, households can expect to pay far more.
Figures from the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB), which record the actual rents paid as opposed to those advertised, show that the highest average increases across all property types were found in Meath (up 11.7pc) and Louth (up 10.8pc), followed by Laois at 10.4pc.
They were joined by Westmeath (up 9.6pc) as the only counties with hikes above the average.
The RTB's Rent Index notes that the lowest increase was recorded in Sligo at 2.1pc, but other counties experiencing increases of less than 5pc include Offaly, Limerick, Leitrim, Waterford, Wexford, Carlow, Monaghan, Tipperary, Mayo and Roscommon.
However, when the cost of renting the two most common property types is analysed - two-bedroom apartments and three-bedroom semi-detached homes - it is clear that prices for these high-demand units are rising fast.
The data shows:
- The monthly rent on a two-bed apartment is €565 in Portarlington, Co Laois - up 25pc, the highest increase across the State. A three-bed semi-detached house is up 12.5pc to €626 per month.
- While prices rose an average of 9.6pc in Westmeath, a two-bed apartment is up 22pc in Athlone to €689 per month.
- In Wicklow town, a three-bed, semi-detached house costs €1,028 per month, an increase of 14pc or €126 per month. Across the county, the average hike for this property type is 8.2pc.
- A three-bed semi-detached house is up 10.3pc in Donegal town, and by 12pc in Letterkenny to €470 and €530 per month respectively.
- While prices overall are higher in each county, the cost of renting a two-bed apartment fell in Sligo town by 11.4pc to €506 per month and in Carlow by 1.3pc to €576.
- Only two towns saw a drop in the cost of renting a three-bed semi-detached property - Tipperary, where monthly rents fell 0.8pc to €541 and New Ross in Wexford, which dropped to €565 (down 1.4pc).
The figures come after the Irish Independent yesterday revealed that rents are soaring at more than twice the national average in the commuter belt as families seeking a larger property clamour for available homes.
The RTB Rent Index also shows that the cheapest place to rent a semi-detached home with three bedrooms is Ballaghaderreen in Roscommon, at €367 per month, up 2.4pc.
This is followed by Edgesworthstown in Longford at €422 and Tubbercurry in Sligo (€424).