Glut of properties drives down rents
RENTAL prices are set to fall in the coming months after a glut of extra properties were put on the market.
New figures showed that the number of properties available to rent has shot up by a third since May.
Overall rent levels across the country have not moved for a year, but economists predict they may fall in the coming months because of the greater number of properties on the market.
The average monthly rent for a house or apartment is €823, a new Daft.ie survey showed.
Rents fell by a quarter at the start of 2007, but have since stabilised and are not changing from one month to the next.
Owners reacted to rents remaining static by putting more vacant properties into the rental market, Daft.ie economist Ronan Lyons said.
The figures came as the scramble for third-level students to find accommodation begins.
The total number of properties available to rent in Ireland's five major cities rose from 6,000 in May to 8,000 at the start of August, Mr Lyons said.
The increase in supply was more pronounced in Dublin where, after rising strongly for six months, rents stabilised in the last three months.
Rents for double rooms have fallen by up to 3pc in many parts of the country, but rose sharply in Limerick city and in Letterkenny.
The average cost for a double room in Dublin city centre is €485, which was about twice the cost of renting in towns like Castlebar and Letterkenny, at €235.
Rental prices in Dublin, Cork, Galway and Limerick cities are all higher than they were this time last year -- even though rents across the country as a whole have not changed.
Welfare officer with UCD students' union Rachel Breslin advised students to get together when renting a property.
"It is, on the whole, more economical to group and rent a property together."