An illustration showing that the rent year on year is increasing in local counties.

The local rental sector crisis has been exposed by spectacular new figures showing double-digit rent increases in Westmeath and Roscommon over the past twelve months.

Figures released by Daft.ie as part of its second quarter 2021 rent report showed that in Westmeath rents were on average 9.9% higher in the second quarter of 2021 than a year earlier. The average listed rent is now € 1,117, up 112% from its lowest point.

In Roscommon, rents were on average 16.1% higher in the second quarter of 2021 than a year earlier. The average listed rent is now € 829, up 68% from its lowest.

Roscommon’s increase is the second highest in the country, behind Kerry, at 16.5%.

Nationally, rents rose 5.6% – the biggest year-over-year increase since mid-2019.

Surprisingly, nationally, the report found that rental supply has hit an all-time high with just 2,455 rental units available across the country – the lowest number on record.

The situation is reproduced locally. As of Tuesday morning (August 10), the dire shortage of rental properties locally was evident, as a search of the daft.ie website revealed only eleven listed sites in Athlone and the surrounding area, ranging from € 650 per month to 1,250 €.

In Moate, it’s even worse with only two houses for rent on the daft.ie website, including the luxurious eight-bedroom Bishopstown House, which costs € 8,000 a month to rent. The other is a four bedroom house in Tennis View which costs $ 1,250 per month to rent.

In Athlone and the surrounding area, a one-bedroom unit in Portaneena, Ballykeeran is the cheapest listed on the website at € 650 per month, while a two-bedroom apartment in St Peter’s Port will cost € 1,000 per month. A one bedroom apartment in St Mary’s Square is available for € 1,250 per month to rent.

Other areas listed include a single bed unit at Auburn Terrace for € 825 per month or a twin unit at Sean Costello Street for € 900 per month.

Interestingly, there was only one house or family home in Athlone listed in the properties available for rent yesterday (Tuesday) at Castlehall Park in Bealnamulla at € 1,250 per month for a three bedroom semi-detached unit.

The most expensive listed is in the Jolly Mariner development along the Shannon. A two-bedroom apartment here is offered for rent at € 1,275 per month on the daft.ie website.

The situation for those looking to share a house is slightly better, but the numbers here are still very low, as students will be looking for accommodation shortly once the college offers are posted.

There are 27 listed properties where someone can share a room in and around Athlone, while Moate only shows two more available. The price range for sharing a room locally ranges from € 350 to € 550 per month.

Ronan Lyons, economist at Trinity College Dublin and author of the Daft report, said: ‘As the impact of Covid-19 on daily life begins to fade, the underlying issues facing the Irish rental sector are reappearing . It is a sector facing unprecedented shortages, with an extraordinarily tight supply

“The Irish rental sector has suffered a lost decade and a half, with almost no new rental housing built. It cannot be solved by trying to regulate prices. It can only be solved by adding significant amounts of new supply – and not just in Dublin. In this regard, policymakers – and citizens – should be wary of anything that limits the ability of foreign savers to build new rental homes here. “

Student accommodation

As of August 1, there were less than 800 rental units available outside of Dublin.

As the president of the student union of the new AIT and LIT tech university, Aine Daly said the number of rental units available was down sharply this year.

“We have nothing at all in Limerick. In Athlone we still have (properties) coming up, but all the digs are gone due to Covid and the security concerns people have.

“I don’t think we felt the pressure this bad last year, because the students basically weren’t back on campus. Now the plan is to get everyone back to campus, and our buildings are going. fill.

“In the past, searches were our safety net, but now they’re gone because of Covid,” she said.

She also criticized the lack of government funding for technological universities (TUs) to build new student housing.

“The government recently announced 75 million euros for universities to build housing, but not technological universities, which makes absolutely no sense.

“The crisis isn’t just affecting Dublin, or university students, it’s all students. TUs still don’t have access to the loan to build, so we have no way of getting housing for the students themselves. if our number of students will increase with TU, ”she said.

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