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Covid-19: Rental market sees rise in properties available 'likely due to the collapse in tourism'

There has been an increase in the supply of properties available for rent this month due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Property website, Daft.ie, has seen a 13% rise in the number of rental properties around the country in March so far.

However, they said that almost all of the increase is concentrated in Dublin (303 of the 353 extra listings) and half of the Dublin increase is concentrated in what they term "the most in-demand property type and area" for the short-term rental market - one- and two-bed properties in Dublin city centre.

This segment has seen a 64% increase in listings since the start of the month - with 396 ads so far, compared to 242 in the same period last year.

Daft.ie economist, Ronan Lyons, said: "The increase in the number of properties advertised for rent so far in March is likely to be related to the collapse in tourism and thus the fall in demand for short-term rentals.

"Most of the country has seen almost no change in properties advertised to rent, compared to a year ago. But the number of smaller properties in central Dublin - where demand for short-term lets is concentrated - has grown by almost two thirds.

"Close to 400 one- and two-bed properties were advertised in under three weeks, up 150 from the same period last year."

However, he added that the scale of the rise is too small to make any significant change in rent prices.

Mr Lyons said: "The Dublin rental market typically needs 1,000 homes a week to keep rents affordable.

"Thus, while a one-off shift from the short-term to long-term rental market may be welcome news for many, it does not change the huge underlying need to build new rental homes."

They also said that arranging viewings can be very difficult due to social distancing.

Raychel O'Connell, Communications Manager at Daft.ie said: "We suggest avoiding any unnecessary viewings by asking the estate agent plenty of questions before by email or phone. We are working with estate agents and enabling them to upload videos and virtual tours on to our site.

"Many are already arranging virtual viewings so check the ad description on Daft.ie to see if this is available.

"To help reduce the need for physical contact Daft.ie is now also offering free digital tenancy agreements which can be signed by both tenant and landlord online."

[ul][b]Useful information[/b] [li]The HSE have developed an information pack on how to protect yourself and others from coronavirus. Read it here [/li] [li]Anyone with symptoms of coronavirus who has been in close contact with a confirmed case in the last 14 days should isolate themselves from other people - this means going into a different, well-ventilated room alone, with a phone; phone their GP, or emergency department;[/li] [li]GPs Out of Hours services are not in a position to order testing for patients with normal cold and flu-like symptoms. HSELive is an information line and similarly not in a position to order testing for members of the public. The public is asked to reserve 112/999 for medical emergencies at all times.[/li] [li]ALONE has launched a national support line and additional supports for older people who have concerns or are facing difficulties relating to the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in Ireland. The support line will be open seven days a week, 8am-8pm, by calling 0818 222 024[/li] [/ul]