Monday, 04 December 2023.’s latest rental report (Q3, 2023) notes the emergence of two distinct housing markets – one in Dublin, where rent increases have begun to stabilise, and another outside Dublin, where rents continue to soar. From the start of this year to the end of September, rents in Dublin have increased 1.3% while across the rest of the country they are up 8%. 

Ronan Lyons, author of the report, links the lower rent increases in Dublin with improved rental supply in the capital since the start of the year. According to there were almost 1,800 homes available to rent nationwide on 01 November 2023 compared to almost 1,100 on the same date the previous year. Among the increase of about 700 homes, the vast majority - over 600 - were in Dublin.

According to The Irish Times the nature of the new rental supply in Dublin is not yet known. It also comes despite landlords continuing to leave the market as the RTB’s latest report shows.

While supply in Dublin remains far too low, it is at least somehow increasing noticeably and curbing rising rents. Whereas outside Dublin, stock remains chronically low, landlords continue to leave the market and rents continue to soar.

Take Munster for example, according to the number of homes available to rent fell from 267 on 01 November 2022 to 250 on 01 November 2023. During the same period rents in Munster increased by 13% and the RTB received notices of termination from 879 landlords across Munster, almost 500 of which were in Cork.  

Vacant rental properties hold potential for increasing rental supply.

Many people trying to exit homelessness, most especially single adults, are reliant on an over-priced, under-supplied, precarious private rented market. While much more social and affordable housing is ultimately needed, an increase in rental supply could only help those desperate to find an exit from homelessness and help stem the flow of people into homelessness.

As we highlight in our Vacant Home in Cork Home Truths paper, there is a significant discrepancy between the number of vacant rental properties according to Census 2022, and the number of available rental properties advertised at about the same time on; almost 3,000 compared to about 200.

It’s encouraging to see that the Government, placing emphasis on utilising vacant homes to increase housing supply, will double The Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant scheme target from 2,000 to 4,000 properties by 2025.

A specific scheme for vacant rental properties is also worth investigating. Insights into why so many rental properties are vacant compared to available would be the first step, followed by targeted incentives to encourage the return of vacant rental properties to the market - an efficient means of increasing supply in the private rented market, as part of the solution to the homelessness crisis.

Our Home Truths series aims to offer insights into different aspects and experiences of homelessness in the Southwest, drawing on publicly available data and supported by the personal experiences of Cork Simon service users.