Asking prices for rented properties in Waterford city experienced a slight decline last year according to the latest Daft.ie Rental Report, which was issued on Monday.

While there was a 1.2 per cent decline between the third and fourth quarters of 2013, year-on-year rent prices in the city fell by 0.6 per cent, with the average rent totalling €594.

As of December 31st last, rent prices had declined by 29.4 per cent when compared to the height of the market in 2007.

Meanwhile, rents in Cork, Limerick and Galway all increased last year by 4.2, 3.6 and 4.4 per cent respectively, with Dublin, hardly surprisingly, experienced the largest 2013 rent increase of 11.2 per cent.

Breaking the Daft.ie figures down further, rent of a one-bed property in Waterford city last year came in at €416, with €503, €631, €691 and €761 rents recorded on average for two-bed, three-bed, four-bed and five-bed homes respectively.

In County Waterford, rent fell by 1.3 per cent last year (average rent: €553), while there were increases in neighbouring Kilkenny (3.7, average: €628), Tipperary (1.0, average: €575) and Wexford (1.8, average: €598).

Across Munster, rent remained static last year, compared to the 1.5 per cent dip recorded in 2012.

“The ongoing acute shortage of rental accommodation in Dublin continues to affect rents in the capital,” said TCD economist and Daft Report author Ronan Lyons.

“With no sign of new supply coming on stream any time soon, the onus is now on the government to encourage construction in the capital. This could be best done with reform of land use and the planning process.

“Elsewhere, rents are largely stable, although if rents continue to rise at close to five per cent a year in other cities and in Leinster, this will be problematic for Ireland’s competitiveness.”
Weighing all of that up, the rental decline could work in Waterford’s favour, in particular underlining the city’s status as the cheapest urban centre in which to do business following the reduction in commercial rates.

Dermot Keyes.