Rents in Meath rose by an average of 11.5 per cent in the year to December 2017, according to the latest quarterly rental report by property website Daft.ie.
The average advertised rent in the last quarter of 2017 in the county was €1171, up 81 per cent from its lowest point.
Nationwide, rents rose by an average of 10.4 per cent in the year to December 2017. The average monthly rent nationwide during the final quarter of 2017 was €1,227, the seventh quarter in a row a new all-time high has been set.
In Dublin, the increase in rents in the year to December 2017 was 10.9 per cent and rents in the capital are now 26 per cent, or almost €380 a month (€4,500 a year), higher than their previous peak in 2008. Most of the other major cities saw similar changes in rents during 2017. In Galway and Waterford cities, rents rose by a little over 12 per cent during the year, while in Limerick city, rents rose by 14.8 per cent. In Cork, the increase in rents was 7.7 per cent, while outside the five main cities, rents rose by 9.8 per cent.
There were 3,143 properties available to rent nationwide on 1st February. This is the lowest number ever recorded for this time of year since the series started in 2006, and the figure marks a 15 per cent decrease on the same date a year previously. In Dublin, there were fewer than 1,350 homes available to rent, compared to almost 6,700 on the same date in 2009.
Meanwhile, local area representative for the Social Democrats, Ronan Moore, has called on the government to immediately introduce nationwide rent caps. He said: “These figures show that rents are continuing to rise to totally unsustainable levels across the country. In Meath, rental costs have skyrocketed beyond levels not seen since the Celtic Tiger. Since bottoming out in late 2010, rental costs in Meath have increased a staggering 81 per cent, the third highest in the whole country with only Dublin city centre and north inner city increasing more.
“How much more evidence of astronomical and unaffordable rents and lack of supply does the Minister for Housing need to see before he acknowledges that the rental market is entirely broken and that an emergency response is now needed?
“Rent pressure zones were supposed to curb rent increases by capping rents in key urban areas. It is now beyond time for the government to face facts – rent pressure zones have failed and the only way to make rents affordable is to apply proper rent certainty measures.”
He is calling for an immediate linking of rents to the Consumer Price Index until there is sufficient housing to drive down rents.