Rental enquiries in some Dublin areas have increased by 200pc
DUBLIN'S South Circular Road is the most sought after rental area in the capital, according to new data seen by the Sunday Independent.
Over the past two years enquiries for rental properties all over the city have increased by up to 200pc in some hotspots.
The latest trends from Daft.ie - Ireland's leading property website - reveals the South Circular road is the most popular rental area in the city with each individual property attracting more than 25 emails to the daft site, up from 10 per property in 2012.
Others in the top five most competitive areas include: Portobello, North Circular Road, Clonskeagh and East Wall.
Meanwhile, rental interest in Finglas, Smithfield, Drumcondra and Glasnevin has almost trebled in the past 24 months.
Daft.ie marketing director Kieran Harte told the Sunday Independent: "There is a really strong message is these figures, the uplift in inquiries has been huge, more people want rental accommodation but there are fewer and fewer properties available."
City-wide, Mr Harte said the number of available rental properties has dropped by more than 50pc in the last two years and in the past 12 months they have witnessed a 15.5pc hike in Dublin rental prices.
"There is a steady cause for alarm, it's at fever pitch. There is less stock available and it's really driving up those prices," Mr Harte added.
According to the rental experts, the introduction of the Property Services Regulatory Authority to control and regulate property providers in 2012 has played a key role in the latest trends,
"Since there has been a requirement to be licensed we're seeing a lot more properties coming through letting agents as opposed to old fashioned landlords," he said adding that families and young professionals are more economically attractive.
Other significant trends include a surge in open viewing times posted online and more focus on tenant administration.
"It's becoming more and more about ticking boxes," said Mr Harte. "It's about coming with all the right documentation, proof of income or proof of bank account which makes it harder for students when they are competing against young professionals and families."
Lorcan Sirr, author and lecturer on housing at Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) said it's "unfair" that landlords can "discriminate on the grounds of income".
He added: "In Ireland landlords have complete determination and discretion over who they want. They are perfectly entitled to ask you to prove your income by showing bank statements but it's an absolute disgrace."
On the issue of opening viewing, the author of new book Renting in Ireland said rental viewings are becoming more like auctions.
"You get the fever up and next thing you are bidding rent and offering €100 more than you could afford or wanted to pay. . . some landlords hang deposits over the tenant's head for the duration of their lease," he said adding that a deposit retention scheme is urgently needed.
Despite the start of the college year, students are still struggling to find a place of their own.
Edward Thurman, co-founder of CollegeCribs.ie, a website featuring property listings for every university, college and IT in Ireland, said: "Some are staying with friends or with family outside Dublin and commuting . . . there has been an absolutely huge resurgence of digs and it's all down to the crisis. The Department of Environment, Community and Local Government said a strategy is in place for increasing housing supply, however, Minister Alan Kelly TD, has not ruled out the introduction of rent control - a system hotly challenged by experts.
"When you start to putting caps or controls on people's rents it will discourage landlords from entering the market and we need more landlords and more properties to get the rent down."