RENTS in Limerick City have hit a new high of €1,225 a month — the highest annual increase in the country.
According to the latest quarterly rental report by Daft.ie, Limerick saw a massive 10.5 per cent increase in rents in the past year.
The average monthly rent is now much higher than the monthly cost of a mortgage. The report’s findings cite the average rent in Limerick at €1,182, compared to €675 for the average mortgage in the city — a difference of 175 per cent.
Sinn Féin TD Maurice Quinlivan this week hit out at Fine Gael for allowing Limerick’s rental market spiral out of control. He also accused the government of not delivering for Limerick and feels “it’s time to show them the door”.
“These rents aren’t just rising themselves, landlords and vulture funds, who have bought up large amounts of properties, are laughing all the way to the bank, while renters struggle to keep a roof over their heads. And the fault of this lies directly at the feet of Fine Gael,” Deputy Quinlivan said.
“Fine Gael had plenty of choices to stem these rents — to introduce a rent freeze, like Sinn Féin suggested, introduce rent caps, extend the Rent Pressure Zones nationwide – or just do anything at all.
“Different choices by a different government would have avoided these scandalous rents. But no, Fine Gael don’t want to upset landlords and the vulture funds and they are happy to throw renters to the wolves.”
Fianna Fáil councillor James Collins maintains that the latest figures “prove dithering by a Dublin obsessed Housing Minister has cost Limerick renters dearly”.
“When the entire Limerick Metropolitan Area was designated as a Rent Pressure Zone earlier this year, it was clear that the horse had already bolted, because landlords had already upped their rents, anticipating that a clampdown on rent hikes was coming. In reality, renters are already paying €117 more per month on rent than 12 months ago,” the former Mayor said.
“It’s all very well telling the renters of Limerick City that your rent can only be increased by four per cent per annum between now and 2021, when those same renters have already had to hand over an extra €117 a month.”
Economist Ronan Lyons said that building new rental supply remains critical to fixing the rental market.
“Stopping further inflation should be just the first target for policymakers. However, bringing rents down to affordable levels must remain the ultimate goal,” he added