Ireland housing crisis causes hundreds to line up around block for hours to view apartments


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An influx of people and shortage of properties has contributed to a housing crisis in Ireland where hundreds of tenants have been spotted lining up around corners to view rental properties in Dublin.

Over 150 people were lined up in Dublin on Tuesday night to view a three-bedroom house on the market for roughly $1,800 per month as the area deals with a housing shortage that has caused Dublin real estate agents to implement a lottery system for viewings, The Daily Mail reported.

Ireland’s booming economy has brought an influx of employees into the country who are able to afford higher housing prices. This increased demand has contributed to costs going up. A shortage of properties has also exacerbated a crisis that traces back to the Irish government’s housing policies, one expert told Fox News Digital.

“They do have a demand for more housing but what they haven’t done is keep up with it by creating a supply,” Cato Institute Senior Fellow Michael D. Tanner told Fox News Digital. “They’ve embarked on a very anti-housing set of policies.”

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Construction cranes over a new corporative offices construction site next to the Horse Show House in Ballsbridge area of Dublin. 
(Photo by Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Tanner cited various zoning laws and restrictions that have made it “difficult to build” in Ireland, adding that the country has embarked on a “jihad against landlords” by imposing rent controls and increasing taxes on rental income.

“They really went after the landlords and the end result was that nobody wanted to build any housing,” Tanner said. “Even if people would do it, it was very difficult to build it, so they now have a lot fewer housing units available to meet the increasing population growth.”

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A view of a rough sleeper's tents along the Grand Canal in Dublin during the final days of the level five COVID-19 lockdown.

A view of a rough sleeper’s tents along the Grand Canal in Dublin during the final days of the level five COVID-19 lockdown.
(Photo by Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Housing policies that are marketed as being “pro-tenant” have a net result of making it less profitable and therefore less desirable for developers to build more rental units, Tanner explained.

“If you combine that with an increased demand, you’ve got a basic economics 101 issue,” he added.

Demand for rental accommodation in Dublin is growing from already sky-high levels to such a degree that Ireland’s largest private landlord could have recently filled a new apartment block 30 times over, its chief executive said earlier this month.

Chronic supply shortages pushed Irish rental properties to a new record low this month, with just 716 homes available to a population of 5.1 million people as of Aug. 1, property website Daft.ie reported.

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A view of a rough sleeper's tents outside a closed shop on Henry Street in Dublin city center during the final days of the level five COVID-19 lockdown. 

A view of a rough sleeper’s tents outside a closed shop on Henry Street in Dublin city center during the final days of the level five COVID-19 lockdown. 
(Photo by Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Irish Residential Properties REIT Chief Executive Margaret Sweeney told Reuters that it received 600 requests to view 20 new apartments it listed last month near Dublin’s city center.

The 61-unit development was fully occupied within a week of the builders completing the project, she added.

“We’re definitely seeing much greater demand, there is a real shortage of good available accommodation. We’ve seen it increasing month-on-month,” Sweeney said in a telephone interview.

Reuters contributed to this report.



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