Limerick Chamber’s Rental Barometer Reveals Alarming Trends in the Co. Limerick Rental Market

Limerick, 18 March 2024: Limerick Chamber has released its highly anticipated Rental Barometer, offering a comprehensive analysis of the rental market in Co. Limerick over a 12-month period. The findings paint a stark picture of soaring rental prices, limited supply, and the urgent need for intervention to address the affordability crisis. The report examines the rental performance in each of Limerick city and county’s six Local Electoral Areas (LEAs) providing a comprehensive overview of price and supply trends, sustainability ratings of properties, the availability of smaller and larger homes – as well as an affordability analysis of single people and a couple trying to rent in Limerick City and County. The Limerick Chamber Rental Barometer also provides a national overview of delivery of new and affordable homes and ranks the best and worst performers.

Key highlights from the report include:

🔍Rapid Price Escalation: The average rental price in Limerick over the surveyed period stands at €1,800, marking a staggering 31% increase. This escalation is further exacerbated by the scarcity of 1-bedroom properties, constituting just 11% of available homes over the period.

🔍Regional Disparities: Limerick City East emerges as the most expensive area with an average monthly rent of €2,100, while Newcastle West offers the least expensive rentals at €1,300 per month.

🔍Financial Burden: Residents in Limerick City East face an annual rental expense of approximately €25,000, with City North and City West not far behind at around €24,000 per year.

🔍Comparative Costs: A comparison with rental expenses from two years ago reveals significant financial strain, with individuals in Limerick City North experiencing an additional cost burden of €10,000 annually, while those in City West and Newcastle West face additional expenses of €8,000 and €2,000 per year respectively.

🔍Urban-Rural Divide: The disparity between city and county rental prices is striking, with urban areas commanding premiums of 33% over their rural counterparts. Despite this, supply remains constrained, particularly in city regions.

🔍Unsustainable Trends: Prices continue to rise while supply remains stagnant or diminishes, indicating an unsustainable trajectory for Limerick’s rental market.

🔍National Ranking: Limerick ranks poorly on a national scale in terms of housing affordability, with statistics revealing a concerning disparity between new build homes and population growth when compared to other Irish cities. Limerick is ranked 19th out of 26 in terms of the number of people per new home.

🔍Affordable Housing Shortage: Only 4% of new build homes since 2022 have been classified as affordable in Limerick, underscoring the pressing need for increased investment in affordable housing initiatives. This places Limerick 13th out of 26. Meanwhile 16% of homes delivered in Waterford have been affordable and 13% of homes in Cork.

🔍Supply Shortfall: Analysis reveals alarmingly low availability of rental properties across various regions of Limerick, highlighting the dire need for expanded housing options. Just 12 homes per month were available to rent in Limerick City West, 7 homes per month in Limerick City East, 6 homes per month in Limerick City North, and less than 5 homes per month to rent in Adare – Rathkeale, Newcastle West and Cappamore Kilmallock

🔍Income Requirements: Affordability remains a significant barrier, with single individuals requiring close to €70,000 gross annual income for a 1-bedroom home, while single parents with children face even steeper income thresholds with a 2-bedroom home not becoming affordable until a person earns closer to €100,000 gross per year.

🔍Financial Advantages of Homeownership: The report emphasises the economic advantages of homeownership, with monthly mortgage payments on new and second homes significantly cheaper than rental expenses in certain areas.

Commenting on the release, Seán Golden, Chief Economist and Director of Policy at Limerick Chamber said

“ We cannot ignore the stark realities unveiled by our Rental Barometer report. The exponential rise in rental prices, coupled with an acute shortage of affordable housing options, poses a profound challenge for both existing residents and newcomers to Limerick. The statistics are alarming: a 31% surge in average rental prices, with only 11% of available homes being 1-bedroom properties, reflects a market in dire need of intervention. Coupled with that we have some families paying almost €25,000 a year in rent. Even comparing delivery in Limerick to other counties, we aren’t delivering housing at the level that fits the economic stature of a county such as Limerick and we are lagging behind or city regions. There needs to be greater urgency in delivering affordable rental and purchase on state lands in Limerick – this will be a very important topic as we head into the elections in June “

Commenting on the release, Noel Gavin, President of Limerick Chamber said

“Accessible and quality housing isn’t just a basic necessity; it’s the cornerstone of vibrant communities and thriving economies. As businesses strive to attract top talent, tangible progress in housing infrastructure becomes paramount, ensuring that employees not only have a place to call home but also a reason to stay and contribute to the growth and success of their communities. The Rental Barometer shows us that often in proximity to large employment nodes there might only be 7 to 12 houses to rent per month. This does not match the ambition we all have for Limerick into the future and must be addresses as a matter of urgency.”

Limerick Chamber

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