CORK renters are spending 37% of their total income on rent, according to figures issued by the country's largest real estate agent.
A report conducted by Sherry Fitzgerald found that Cork was among the most expensive cities in world for rent as a percentage of income, just below London (40%) and above Amsterdam (35%), with Cork city dwellers spending 37% of their after-tax income on rent.
This means that for every €100 brought home by a person living in Cork city, €37 goes towards rent.
The average city rent surpassed the €1,100 mark earlier this year, a 7% increase on the same time last year, with pressure continuing to grow for city residents.
Dr Frank Crowley, lecturer in UCC’s School of Economics, said this represents a major problem for Cork City.
“There is a serious affordability problem and it is affecting the millennial generation the most,” he said.
“They are having trouble affording housing and also in affording rents.”
This could have a negative impact on a number of sectors in Cork City according to Dr Crowley.
“Cork is an attractive place to be a student, to live, work and do business but the problems around increasing rents and housing affordability will affect our level of overall business competitiveness and in attracting the best talent,” he said.
“We should not make high rents and high house prices the new normal,” he added.
Dr Crowley feels that Cork is suffering from a major housing problem.
“When there are more houses for sale in places like Skibbereen and Kanturk, with a population of just 5,000 in those towns combined, than there is in Cork city with a population of over 125,000, then you know there is a housing problem,” he said.
The boundary dispute needs to be resolved for Cork city to develop further, according to Dr Crowley.
“The current boundary dispute between the county council and city council needs to be resolved and a plan put in place to allow accommodation be built in places where people need them,” he said.
“The city boundary needs to expand."
Chief executive of Cork Chamber, Conor Healy, said the rental statistics show the severity of current housing situation in Ireland.
“It reflects the very significant challenge we face in terms of the housing market here in Ireland,” he said.
“It highlights the overall context of the housing situation and while the need is there for something to be implemented in terms of social housing and homelessness, it is also clear that there has to be a very specific emphasis on the rental sector with regards to supporting employment.
“There is a worry that rent this high could impact on Cork businesses ability to hire and our overall competitiveness."