Pressure is on as Limerick rents hit all time high

RENTS in Limerick rose by an average of 12.5 per cent between last September and December, according to the latest figures from property website

Daft’s figures for the final quarter of 2016 show that the average monthly rent in Limerick is now €875 — with many homes well over €1,000 per month.

Limerick Sinn Féin TD Maurice Quinlivan says the figures are “hugely concerning” and has called on Housing Minster Simon Coveney to introduce rent certainty.

“Some rents in Limerick City have increased by over 20 per cent. This is not sustainable and is clearly failing working families, many who cannot afford these high rents or can’t find suitable properties to live in,” he said.

“We need to build 25,000 homes nationally annually and this is not happening. The crisis will only continue,” he predicted.

Rents are now higher than their previous peak at the start of 2008, seeing large increases for many families. The picture is bleak across the State with just 900 homes available to rent across all of Munster.

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Deputy Quinlivan says that the Government is continuing to fail renters.

“Minister Coveney had an opportunity before Christmas to halt unaffordable rent increases. Instead, he gifted landlords with a four per cent annual rent increase for the next three years. His failure to get to grips with the crisis continues to heap pressure on struggling renters and effectively locks low-income earners out of the rental market.

“Rent Certainty alone will not resolve the issue of high rents but it would slow down the unaffordable rent increases that thousands of people across the State are facing. The huge increase in rents coupled with a severe shortage of homes to rent and buy is exasperating the housing crisis.”

Labour Party spokesperson on Housing, Jan O’Sullivan TD, also expressed concern at the figures which show the largest yearly rent increases across the country since 2002.

“This latest report shows the rental crisis is actually worsening, with rents rising at their fastest rate on record. This is putting huge pressure on those who are trying to pay these increases on limited incomes, with little or no chance of buying a home in the foreseeable future,” she said.

She believes that the figures also demonstrate that the Government should have been more radical in its limited measures on the rental sector last December, particularly with areas like Limerick and Waterford being excluded from the rent pressure zones.

by Alan Jacques