Rent prices driving young people to live in family homes for longer

Stock photo.

NEW figures for rents in Limerick City do not bode well for those struggling to put a roof of their heads, and may lead to young people being forced to live in their family homes for longer.

The average price of rent in Limerick City now stands at €1,739, an increase of 11.5 per cent on the previous period, according to a recent Rental Price Report.

Across the rest of the county, market rents were on average 19.2 per cent higher than they were 12 months ago, with the average rent now €1,393.

At time of going to print there are only five properties to rent in Limerick City on

Novas, the largest provider of homeless services in the Mid West, has warned that rents in the city and county are at unprecedented levels.

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Una Burns, Head of Advocacy and Communications with the Limerick-based housing and homeless charity, told the Limerick Post that lack of supply coupled with high rents have resulted in young people being forced to live in the family home for longer.

“Recent census returns show that there has been a 37 per cent decline in people under the age of 25 living in rented accommodation and a similar decrease of 35 per cent in adults aged between 25 and 29 living in the private rented sector,” Ms Burns explained.

“The burden of demand on the sector has resulted in rented accommodation becoming increasingly out of reach for many households and, at the sharpest end, in people becoming homeless. The recent rise in Notices to Quit, since the lifting of the eviction ban, has exacerbated existing problems.

“Our over-reliance on the rental sector to meet our social housing needs must to be rebalanced with accelerated delivery of social housing. Tenants need security of tenure and the extraordinary cost of renting needs to be addressed.”

Sinn Féin TD for Limerick Maurice Quinlivan also for emergency action to reduce rents in the private rental sector.

Deputy Quinlivan urged the government to ban rent increases for all existing and new tenancies for three years, and to put a full month’s rent back into every private renter’s pocket.

The Limerick TD said that current rental rates are “totally unaffordable for people on ordinary wages in Limerick. People need a break from sky high rents now.”

Labour Party councillor Conor Sheehan also deemed rent hikes as completely unsustainable. The housing emergency, he believes, disproportionately impacts younger generations and families.

“People are trapped in an endless rental market nightmare as they can’t afford to save for a deposit whilst keeping up with extortionate monthly rents,” Cllr Sheehan said.

“The Minister needs to reintroduce a winter eviction ban to give renters certainty coming into winter and take on board Labour’s renters rights bill which seeks to correct the imbalance in the tenant/landlord relationship.

“Sky high rents and an all-time shortage of rental properties are having terrible consequences for young people in Limerick,” the Labour councillor concluded.