How has remote working affected rent prices in Ireland?

Because of the pandemic, so many people across Ireland have transitioned to remote work. While reopening is underway, it will still be some time before the majority of the workforce is back in their offices. During the pandemic, many people who lived and worked in major cities like Dublin found themselves returning to their home counties due to the opportunity to work from home. The Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) has found that a trend may be beginning with this movement of people away from urban centers due to covid-19.

Rents have increased across the State in the first three months of 2021 when compared to that same time period from last year. But perhaps as a reflection of people’s shift to remote work, rents have seen their sharpest increases outside of Dublin. During the first three months of the year, rents as a whole have seen a rise of 4.5 percent compared to the first quarter of last year. The nationwide average rent in euros for this quarter comes out to be €1,320, an increase of €33 when compared with the last quarter of 2020.

However, the true impact of the pandemic, restrictions, and specifically the shift toward remote working can be seen when comparing the rental price movement in Dublin to the rest of the country. While rents nationwide are up 4.5 percent, they increased even more sharply outside of Dublin. In the capital, rental prices increased by 2 percent. Outside of Dublin, rental inflation was measured at 7 percent. In fact, rent prices increased in nearly every county over the past year, with Wicklow being the only exception. The average rent in Dublin is now €1,820 per month, representing an increase of nearly €100 from the first quarter of 2020. If you’re looking for the lowest monthly rent, that can be found in Leitrim, at a rate of €596 per month. Stillorgan, co. Dublin had the highest average rents, coming in at €2,378.

So while rents in Dublin are still significantly higher than the rest of the country, the other counties are increasing faster than the capital city. Kilkenny had the fastest growth in rental costs, with an increase of 12.3 percent over the quarter. Clare, Gilway, and Mayo all had significantly high growth rates of over 10 percent. This increase in rental costs outside of Greater Dublin points to the fact that more people are working remotely and thus looking for rental properties outside the city. Interim director of the RTB Pádraig McGoldrick said “This may be the start of a potential trend of people moving outside of urban centres as a result of Covid-19, which we will continue to monitor.”

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