Average rents soar by almost nine per cent

The average cost of renting a property in Kerry has soared upwards by almost nine per cent in the last year.

According to the latest Daft rental report it now costs an average of €679 a month to rent a typical property - such as an apartment or small house - in Kerry.

That represents an increase of 8.7 per cent on the same time last year.

Much of the blame for the spiralling prices has been linked to a major shortage of properties with only a handful of homes available to rent in most areas.

The Daft.ie website contained ads for just 53 rental properties across the entire county on Tuesday afternoon. Of these 13 were in Tralee and 11 were in Killarney. There was just one property available for rent in Listowel.

While rents in Kerry are high they remain considerably lower than in Limerick and Cork where rents rose by 13 per cent in the last 12 months. Average rents in Limerick are now €892 a month while in Cork they have reached €806.

Kerry County Council has appointed Parkway Contracts Ltd to construct four new housing units in Tralee. The houses are being provided under the government's Rebuilding Ireland programme at a cost of just over €700,000.

The units, which will be constructed at Bill Kinnerk Road, Oakpark, will include two three-bedroom semi-detached houses and two four-bedroom semi-detached units.

Construction is due to begin next week with the houses due to be complete in a year's time.

"I am delighted to see the further roll out of Kerry County Council's house-building programme in conjunction with the Department of Housing and Rebuilding Ireland programme. These new units will help to address the needs of applicants on the housing waiting lists in the area and I look forward to their completion at the earliest opportunity," said Mayor of Tralee Cllr Terry O'Brien.

There are currently 2,064 people on Tralee's housing list.

Meanwhile at Monday's meeting of the Tralee Municipal District management told members that the council is in the process of buying 14 properties in the Tralee town area. Three other properties have been purchased by the council since the start of the year.