The coronavirus is the greatest public health emergency of our times. There have been so many unexpected economic consequences of this pandemic. For instance, in just a week, the Dublin rental market has been completely transformed.
You don't have to be David McWilliams to know the Dublin rental market has been 'overheated' for the past 5-6 years. There are many reasons for this. One of them is the effect that AirBnb has had on rental supply. Home and apartment owners found there was more money and less hassle in renting property on a short-term basis to tourists than on a long-term basis to residents of the capital. The government has tried to regulate the AirBnB market but rents remain very high in Dublin. The Sinn Féin surge of 2020 was driven by the overwhelming need for access to housing.
In the past week, the way we live has changed radically. Travel is not an option, tourism is no longer an industry. It's seven days since we all started self-isolating. And in just a span of a week, many people have noticed a surge in long term property rentals coming on the market in Dublin, especially in those much sought-after areas in the Dublin city centre.
— Philip Boucher-Hayes (@boucherhayes) March 19, 2020
This transformation is being keenly felt in the 1-bed property market, as this tweet illustrates.
I've had a saved search query on the daft app for ages that I check periodically which is:
• 1 bed
• under €1400
Last time I checked it 2 weeks ago there were 9 properties active (all of them basically sheds/tiny bedsits).
Today - 94
— Naoise Falafel (@naoisefalafel) March 19, 2020
Now there could be plenty of macroeconomic reasons as to why all of these properties have come on the market in the Dublin city centre. But this handy visualisation proves the massive footprint that AirBnB has in the Dublin city centre.
Up to 4,900 homes on Airbnb in Dublin available (without tourists), + 000s more as students go online/leave city.. this will likely solve the rental crisis & bring down rents. Landlords would be wise to keep the tenants they’ve got (@RobCross247 Jan ‘20) pic.twitter.com/bZIsV5PATM
— Orla Hegarty (@Orla_Hegarty) March 18, 2020
Within a week, the market for AirBnb was levelled. Like daffodils and gorse in early March, rental opportunities have sprouted across the nation's capital. And though this is hardly a time to be considering rental opportunities, it does ask pertinent questions about the effect of AirBnB on Dublin's rental market. It will be interesting to see what the city council and the new Housing Minister to do in response to this, once this all blows over.