The cost of the average rental property listed on Daft.ie in Kildare is €1,416, revealing the scale of the housing crisis in Kildare.
This figure was reached by adding the price of every residential rental property currently on offer on Daft.ie and dividing by 134, the total number of properties.
As of this morning, Tuesday, November 29, they are 79 houses and 56 apartments listed.
The 79 houses are seeking an average of €1,672 per month in rental income, surely beyond the reach of most renters.
And the landlords/ladys of the apartments are seeking, on average, €1,125.
Of the apartments, there are 9 one-bed, 42 two-bed and seven three-bed.
The most expensive apartment is €1,900, which is in the Ryder Cup Village in the K-club.
The least expensive is part of a farm complex near Ballitore and is €450.
The most expensive house to rent in Kildare is Ageri House, Killybegs Demesne, between Clane and Prosperous at €4,000 per month.
The least expensive, at €750, for a two-bed terraced house in Pairc Bhrid in Athy.
Of the 137 properties in total, only 43 are €1,000 or less, whereas 98 are between €1,000 and €2,000.
There are four studio apartments listed (where the kitchen, living room and bedroom are all the one) ranging in price from €575 to €850. Two were in Maynooth, one in Leixlip and one in Kilcullen.
In terms of availability in various urban centres, Kilmeague, Narraghmore, Prosperous, Rathangan and the Curragh have only one each.
Athgarvan and Kill have two each.
Ballymore Eustace, Castledermot and Kildare Town have three each.
Celbridge, Donadea, Monasterevin and Straffan have four each.
Sallins has five, Kilcullen has seven and both Leixlip and Athy have 11.
The largest concentrations are in Newbridge (15), Kilcock, (18), Maynooth (19) and Naas (27).
Interestingly, if all of the properties were to be rented, it would result in €191,1915 being paid in rent monthly.
Meanwhile, Nuala Killeen who works with Deputy Catherine Murphy says she works with housing issues on a daily basis.
And anecdotally has noticed that house rent in Athy has risen by at least 33% in the last couple of years.
“In Abbeylands in Clane, they used to be €500 to €600 - and now they’re all €1,200.”
And she said she knew of a people going to Wexford from Leixlip because they can’t find a place in their own home town.
“As a result, the school in Leixlip has lost two teachers because of the loss of pupils and there’s a huge problem in Clane where people can’t get a space in the local school.”
Catherine Murphy herself says that the figures from Daft.ie don’t reflect the true nature of what’s going.
“It’s worse again. We have people in to us who are working in reasonable jobs, people who are not working in McDonalds - although there’s nothing wrong with working in McDonalds - when they go to view a property, the amounts are not what they advertised at.
“I have sent working people into Focus Ireland (the homelessness charity).”
Deputy Murphy, who is based in the north east Kildare area, where the problem is most acute, is of the view said that the situation is “out of control and has been for some time”.
She explained that just after the recession started, Intel started hiring construction workers.
“It was brilliant because it was just post crash, and it was terrific that workers were being taken on.
However the housing stock remained static and that forced a price bubble.
She says that growth in jobs and in the economy should be counterbalanced with investment in accommodation and other infrastructure to match the upturn.
“Kildare is the bellwether county,” she says. “You have to keep an eye on it, because it will show you what’s coming next.
She notes that there is a lot of building going on in the constituency - and this week it was announced that building work on 20 social houses in Kilcock is due to begin very shortly.
The November 28 meeting of Kildare County Council heard that the contract was being signed.
Welcoming the news, Cllr Paul Ward, said the houses would cost a total of €3 million and the project would comprise two, three and four bedroom houses.
They will be located at The Paddocks, near St Joseph’s Primary School.
Catherine Murphy’s overall point is that as a nation, we’ve got to stop thinking of the housing market as simply something that the market should dictate, as if all housing units are just investments.
“If you change the narrative, you’ll see that these are homes and it’s a malfunctioning market. The state needs to intervene - and was needed years ago.”
“We have an 80 year history of boom and bust, and here we are sitting back and waiting to see how the market will respond.
“It requires constant intervention to allow only gradual increases, linked to the consumer price index, rather than gigantic increases.”
She is in favour of introducing a mixture of initiatives, some local authority housing, some housing associations and also less of a concentration on three and four-bed semi detached homes.
Making sure that there is smaller accommodations will encourage people who don’t need a four bed semi-d to move into something smaller, and thus freeing up some stock.
“We’re just missing that part of the mix,” she said.
“I’ve a box of tissues on my desk - every single day there are people coming in about a housing issue.”