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Average Kerry rent €1,125 – up 101% from its lowest point

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Rents in Munster rose 12.6% year-on-year, reflecting very low availability - with just 131 homes available to rent on May 1 - down over two thirds year-on-year.

In Kerry, rents were on average 15.4% higher in the first quarter of 2022 than a year previously. The average listed rent is now €1,125, up 101% from its lowest point.

Nationwide rents in the first quarter of 2022 were an average of 11.7% higher than the same period a year earlier, according to the latest Rental Report by daft.ie. The average market rent nationwide between January and March was €1,567 per month, up 2.8% on the last three months of 2021 and more than double the low of €765 per month seen in late 2011.

While there have been differences in regional trends in rents in recent quarters, the rate of increase was similar across all major regions between early 2021 and early 2022. In Dublin, market rents rose by 10.6% year-on-year, while in Cork and Galway cities, rents rose by 10.2% and 13.8%. Inflation was higher in Limerick and Waterford cities, at 15.5% and 16.2% respectively, while outside the cities the average increase was 12.7%

SCARCITY

The sharp increase in market rents around the country reflects a significant worsening in the record scarcity of rental homes. Nationwide, there were just 851 homes available to rent on May 1, down from over 3,600 a year ago and another new all-time low in a series that extends back over 15 years to 2006. The recent fall in homes to rent is seen in all regions of the country, with an 81% fall in availability in Dublin and a 66% fall elsewhere in the country. The report also includes an analysis of 72 multi-unit rental developments, which are estimated to have added at least 400 new rental homes in the last six months. Of these, it is estimated that 82% are already occupied, with occupancy in the wider multi-unit rental sector estimated to be 95% in early May, up from 93% six months ago.

The report also includes an estimate of the trend in rents for sitting tenants since 2010, as compared to new tenants paying market rates. While inflation in market rents is currently above 10%, and market rents have doubled over the past decade, ‘stayer’ rents have increased by just 1.5% over the past year and by less than 40% over the past 10 years.

“The latest figures confirm the overall strength of demand for rental accommodation in Ireland," Ronan Lyons, Associate Professor of Economics at Trinity College Dublin and author of the Daft Report, said.

"While strong demand for housing reflects underlying economic health, it becomes a challenge when there is inadequate supply to meet it. In Ireland’s case, the economy has suffered from an under-provision of new rental accommodation for over a decade. As a result, market rents have doubled and, as shown in this latest report, rental homes have become unbelievably scarce. New figures confirm that sitting tenants have experienced much smaller increases in rents – both during 2021 and over the last 10 years. Thus, the focus for policymakers must remain on creating the conditions for tens of thousands of new rental homes – market and social, all across the country – to be built over the coming years.”

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Wildflowers are not always simple to grow

By Debby Looney, gardening expert There is nothing quite like the low, humming sound of insects in the garden. I always find the different pitches of the buzzing fascinating, from […]

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By Debby Looney, gardening expert

There is nothing quite like the low, humming sound of insects in the garden. I always find the different pitches of the buzzing fascinating, from the drone of a big, furry bumble bee to the high pitched whirring of hoverflies.

And wasps always seem to have a dangerous sound – it is unique to them, in any case. It is possible to help pollinators into your garden at almost any time of the year, solitary bees such as bumbles and leafcutter bees, will come out of hibernation on a sunny December day if there are some heather flowers nearby. tulips, hyacinths, crocus and snowdrops provide sustenance in early spring, along with shrubs such as hamamelis, daphne, viburnum and willow. In April, the small flowers of the field maple attract many insects, as do the large trumpet shaped flowers of rhododendrons and azaleas. Wildflowers are now beginning to bloom, and they are the subject of today’s column!

While it seems counterintuitive, wildflowers are not always simple to grow, especially as we mean ‘pretty meadow blooms’ as opposed to ‘weeds’! Creating an area for wildflowers takes some preparation. Most important is that it is a weed free area. Kill off any grass or weeds before sowing, either by using conventional weedkillers, or by laying down a sheet of black polythene or weed suppressant. Make sure any seeds which germinate are removed also, and that problematic plants such as rushes, are dug out. Most importantly, ensure all grass is gone, as wildflowers do not compete well against its vigorous growth. Rake the top layer of the soil loose to a fine tilth, and do not add fertiliser! Wildflowers will generally not do well in a rich soil. When your area is ready, decide which seeds are best for your spot. There is much to choose from, for example, single varieties such as ragged Robin, teasels and poppies, or mixtures. There are seed mixes for perennial meadows, ones which attract birds – these usually have a high volume of seed bearing flowers, mixes for bees, ladybirds or certain colour mixes. There are also soil specific mixes.

SOWING SEEDS

Sow your seeds thinly and evenly onto the prepared ground. I tend to cover with netting at this time of year, because, although it is the best time of year to sow, and there is a very high germination rate, birds are also a problem!

The only maintenance really is to keep an eye on slug damage – I scatter in a few pellets when I sow anything – and if there are very dense clumps of seedlings forming, thin them out. When the flowers have gone to seed in the autumn, just cut them to ground level, leave the cuttings a few days for the seeds to drop out, and rake the foliage up. If left to rot in situ, it will make the soil too fertile for a good display the following year.

I mention the use of slug pellets. To the best of my knowledge, the use of metaldehyde poison in slug pellets has been banned for a few years now, and pellets are made of ferric phosphate which is not harmful to pets or birds unless ingested in very large amounts. However, there are some ingredients used in slug pellets which may potentially cause damage to earthworms and other soil dwellers, so please, always use sparingly and where possible, not at all!

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Routine and balance are crucial in the run up to exams

By Niamh Dwyer, Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors As you approach the countdown to the beginning of the Junior and Leaving Cert Exams on June 8, it […]

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By Niamh Dwyer, Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors

As you approach the countdown to the beginning of the Junior and Leaving Cert Exams on June 8, it is very important to maintain a healthy balance so that you can pace yourself properly.

It can be tempting to try to pack in long hours of last minute study at this stage and become more focused on what you don’t know instead of what you do! Stress is a normal part of facing exams and in fact a certain amount of it is helpful to ensure that it mobilises you to perform well, but it is essential that you keep it, and the exams, in perspective. After many years of supporting students before, during and after exams, I know too well how overwhelming the experience can be so I urge you to do everything you can to look after your well-being at this stage.

Before the exams

Stick to a good routine with a healthy balance in terms of revision, rest, fresh air, sleep and diet. Don’t be tempted to work late at night as it is usually unproductive and impacts on your concentration the following day. Approach your last minute revision in a targeted way with the guidance you have been given by your teachers. Have a schedule with your exam dates/times highlighted hanging up where it is obvious and visible at home and take a photo to save on your phone.

During the exams

Set two alarms for the mornings of exams and allow lots of extra time. You will need to be in your assigned seat in the exam centre at least 30 minutes before the start of the exam on day one and 15 minutes before all other exams. Hydration is really important during the exams to help with concentration so make sure you have plenty of water. The first thing to do when you look at the paper is to read the instructions carefully, your teacher will have gone through these many times with you. Mark all the questions you are going to do and write out a quick time plan for yourself. Focus on exactly what you are being asked; the most common feedback from examiners is that students give a lot of irrelevant information so keep glancing back at the question to keep yourself on task to target the marks.

Breathing

If you feel you are becoming really anxious in the exam hall, focus on controlling your breath to bring a sense of calm. Breathe in through your nose for two seconds, hold your breath for one second, and breathe out through your mouth for four seconds. Repeat for one minute.

After the exam

Try to avoid too much discussion after each paper, ‘post-mortems’ of the exams are rarely helpful and can add to stress levels so once each exam is done, take a break and then move on to preparing for the next one. I can tell you that regardless of what happens in each exam, you will have lots of options available to you and an interesting journey ahead.

Keep in mind that while the Leaving Cert is an important exam and big milestone, it will not define you for the rest of your life. Best of luck to the class of 2022!

Niamh Dwyer is a Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore, and Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors. She is also a Career Consultant. For details see www.mycareerplan.ie or follow @mycareerplan on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

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