Census 2022: Average cost of rent in private sector increased by 37% between 2016 and 2022

New data show 330,632 homes rented from private landlords with proportion of owner-occupied home falling by 4%

Illustration: Paul Scott

The number of households in the private rented sector increased by 7 per cent between the 2016 Census and the 2022 edition, while the proportion who own their owned homes continued to fall.

The data show there were 330,632 homes rented from private landlords, and the proportion of owner-occupied homes fell from almost 70 per cent in 2011 to 66 per cent last year.

Among renters, those in the private sector have seen the biggest increases in housing costs. Their average rent went up by 37 per cent in the six years to 2022, to an average of €272.91 per week. In contrast, those in local authority housing, with far greater security of tenure, saw their rent increase by just 14 per cent to an average of €77.92 per week.

The increasing cost of rent in the private sector is seen starkly in figures, which show 109,000 households were paying €300 a week or more – more than double the 48,933 that were doing so in 2016.


There were nearly four times as many households paying €400 a week or more last year than there were in 2016.

The number of homes rented from local authorities – i.e. council homes – increased by 7 per cent to 153,192.

Since 2016, the number of occupied dwellings owned with a mortgage or loan fell by 1 per cent, though the number of homes owned outright, i.e. without a mortgage or loan, increased by 11 per cent.

Houses built since 2016 were found to be both more fire-safe and environmentally sustainable than older homes.

A question about renewable energy sources, asked for the first time, found nearly quarter of households (23 per cent) said they used renewable energy sources. In houses built since 2016, however, more than 70 per cent used at least one renewable energy source, more than 40 per cent had heat pumps, and some 30 per cent had solar panels.

The use of solar panels overall was reported by 6 per cent of households, ranging from 3 per cent in Dublin city to 11 per cent in Meath.

Homes built since 2016 were much more likely to have four or more working smoke alarms compared with older dwellings.

Almost 80 per cent of dwellings had a broadband connection, up from 71 per cent in 2016 and 64 per cent in 2011. This rate varied from 91 per cent in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown to 72 per cent in Longford.

Kitty Holland

Kitty Holland

Kitty Holland is Social Affairs Correspondent of The Irish Times