Rents in Wicklow tumble due to pandemic: report
A long period of rising rents in Wicklow has come to an end, new figures reveal.
Rents in Wicklow showed a year-on-year increase of 3.5%, but have tumbled since the Covid-19 crisis set in.
The latest report from Daft.ie finds that, even before the Covid-19 crisis, rents nationally had started to fall. It follows a run of 29 consecutive quarters – more than seven years – in which rents had risen steadily both nationally and locally.
As the crisis took hold, rents fell nationally by 2.1% in April compared to March. Rents in Wicklow fell by 1.5% between March and April.
Nationally, in the first quarter rents rose by an average of 3.8%, the lowest rate of increase since late 2012.
In Wicklow, rents have been rising at a much slower rate at 1.1% quarter-on-quarter, and the average rent is now €1,432.
The number of homes available to rent nationwide on May 1 was almost 40% higher than on the same date a year earlier, with almost 3,800 homes on the market, compared to 2,700 in May 2019.
Ronan Lyons, economist at Trinity College Dublin and author of the Daft Report, said: “Before Covid-19 stopped the economy in its tracks, it seemed as though things were finally beginning to improve for Ireland’s rental sector. After a decade where effectively no new rental homes were built, the situation had improved in recent quarters.
“Figures in this report show that over 35,000 new rental homes were in the pipeline, when Covid-19 shut down the construction sector.
“Given that the pandemic is unlikely to change any of the long-term fundamentals driving underlying housing need, there is a danger that while its immediate impact might be to lower rents, its longer term effect could be to worsen the shortage,” Mr Lyons added.