Private residential rents are rocketing across Ireland amid claims of rising homelessness figures and demands for the government to build more houses and introduce rent caps.

According to the latest report from property website, a new all-time high for rents has now been set for the seventh quarter in a row.

The website reports that rents rose across the country by an average of 10.4 percent last year.

In Dublin, the increase in rents in the year to December was 10.9 percent to an average €1,822.  That’s 26 percent, or almost €380 a month, higher than the previous peak in 2008.

In the cities of Galway and Waterford rents rose by just over 12 percent last year, while in Limerick city, the increase was nearly 15 percent. In Cork, the rise in rents was almost eight percent.

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There were just over 3,100 properties available to rent at the beginning of February, which is the lowest since the series started in 2006. report author Ronan Lyons said, “2017 marks the fourth consecutive year of double-digit gains in rents nationwide.

“The underlying pressure for rising rents remains due to a chronic shortage of available rental accommodation at a time of strong demand.”

A number of charity housing agencies, such as the Simon Communities and Focus Ireland, have said that rent pressure zones introduced by the government were not working.

Focus Ireland Advocacy Director Mike Allen said, “While the rent pressure zones have helped curtail rent increases for some sitting tenants there are so many loopholes in the legislation it is still far too easy for landlords to ignore.”

Simon Communities spokesperson Niamh Randall said it is clear that rent increases are “absolutely” linked to the homelessness crisis.

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Photo: RollingNews

Photo: RollingNews

She said intervention in the private rental sector was needed, in order to prevent more people from becoming homeless.

She added, “Of course it’s about supply, of course it’s about affordable housing and it’s about the state building homes but as emergency intervention, we need to look at the private rental sector.”

Social Democrats co-leader Catherine Murphy called on the government to immediately introduce rent caps until there is sufficient housing available to drive down costs.  

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