“I want to conclude by again paying tribute to the heroes of the Covid-19 pandemic”, said finance minister Paschal Donohoe in October as he introduced budget 2022 to the Dáil.
Donohoe – a defender of large, private landlords who has plans to court increased institutional investment in the Irish housing market – may consider these people heroes, but properties owned by Ireland’s biggest landlords are well beyond their means.
In fact a single person looking to rent the cheapest institutional-owned flat in Donohoe’s own constituency would need to earn €4,595 a month after tax to comfortably afford it at one-third of their salary.
The three biggest landlords in Ireland control almost half the institutional rental market. The cheapest property they’re offering is more than €1,500 a month, a one-bed apartment in Donohoe’s Dublin Central constituency.
Ires Reit, Kennedy Wilson and Urbeo between them control 49 percent of rental properties owned by institutional landlords in Ireland. The most affordable property they offer, according to the most recent listings on Daft, is a one-bed in Dublin 3 for €1,530 a month. The most expensive is a two-bed in Dublin’s Grand Canal Dock for €15,000 a month.
The cheapest one-bed apartment offered by any of these three institutional landlords costs 61 percent of a newly qualified teacher’s monthly salary, while their most expensive one-bed costs 82 percent of the same salary.
It’s a ‘highly attractive market’ for Ireland’s biggest landlord
Claiming the title of “Ireland’s largest private landlord” in a presentation to investors in September 2021, Ires Reit acknowledged it operates in a “highly attractive market” characterised by a “significant demand / supply imbalance”.
Ires Reit owns 36 Dublin complexes comprising 3,836 units – a 45 percent increase in units, they claim, in the last three years. Their cheapest available property is a one-bed in Dublin 3’s Richmond Gardens complex, which, they claim without providing pictures, is “stunning”.
Their available two-bed apartments meanwhile cost from €2,045 to €2,800 a month and are set in complexes in Dublin 2 and 4, Tallaght, Sandyford and Castleknock.
With a market cap of €850 million, Ires Reit in November 2020 appealed a negative ruling of €638.54 against it at the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB). A tribunal convened by the RTB however upheld this ruling, adjudging Ires Reit to have overcharged its tenants.
‘Market imbalance creates opportunity’ for one of the world’s biggest property firms
Global residential and commercial property firm Kennedy Wilson relies on the Irish market for 19 percent of its before-tax income of $413 million.
Seven of Kennedy Wilson’s 20 most profitable assets are located in Ireland, and in the firm’s 2021 third quarter presentation to investors, it said that a “market imbalance creates opportunity” in the Irish residential market.
Kennedy Wilson’s fifth-most profitable property worldwide is its Clancy Quay apartment complex in Dublin 8. The complex’s cheapest one-bed is available to rent for €2,050 a month – 92 percent of a newly qualified nurse’s after-tax monthly salary – while its most expensive two-bed stretches to €2,050 a month.
The company isn’t offering a three-bed apartment for less than €3,500 and its most expensive letting is a €15,000-a-month two-bed in Dublin’s Grand Canal Dock.
Ex-Nama and Hibernia Reit men on their way to a €1 billion portfolio
Led by former Hibernia Reit and Nama executives and backed by US private equity group Starwood Capital, Urbeo is aiming to establish a €1 billion portfolio of build-to-rent properties. It currently has one-, two- and three-bed apartments to rent in Dublin 4, 15 and 24, as well as Finglas and Maynooth.
Urbeo’s cheapest one-bed is in its U Charlestown complex in Finglas and is offered at €1,650 a month – or 90 percent of a Lidl cashier’s monthly salary. Their cheapest two-bed property meanwhile is a house in Maynooth, which is being offered for €1,900 a month.
A Dublin 24 three-bed, located minutes from Tallaght Hospital, will cost prospective tenants €2,550 a month.
Ires Reit, Kennedy Wilson and Urbeo all declined to comment.