DUBLIN RENTS ON THE RISE AGAIN - Many people keep a close eye on what is happening to rents because they are so important to property prices. Over the past three years rents in the capital have been falling.

But now a new survey by the property web site Daft.ie, which examined rents on 75,000 properties, says that trend is changing and rents are increasing in Dublin.

Daft.ie director Eamonn Fallon said the Dublin rental market reached a peak in September 2001. Rents across the board rose by 3% in January compared with the same month last year, the first rise since January 2003.

Mr Fallon said there were wide variations - Sandymount and Rathgar recorded rise of 23% and 15% respectively. He said the LUAS had had different effects, with rents in areas such as Ranelagh and Milltown falling. He suggests that this is because prices were overvalued because of the promise of the light rail line. But there were 10% rise in Dundrum and Sandyford, as the line made commuting from these areas easier.

Mr Fallon said rents had fallen by 6% in Lucan, Clondalkin and Swords. He said supply had jumped by 50%, because of new houses and the practice of first-time buyers using the rent-a-room scheme - which allows a certain amount of rental income tax free - to service their mortgage.

On apartments, Mr Fallon said rents had risen by around 4%. He said it takes around 20 days on average to let a property in Dublin.


NEWS IN BRIEF AND MARKETS - Manchester United has confirmed it has received that fresh approach from Malcolm Glazer. The club said in a statement it now had a definitive proposal which may form the basis of an offer.

The outlook for the jobs market in 2005 is extremely positive, according to Bank of Ireland's business Job
Index. Its survey says the number of recruitment advertisements published in the newspapers rose by 5% last month compared with the same period last year.

The Irish Independent reports today that energy regulator Tom Reeves is to carry out at review of labour costs at the ESB. Apparently average salary costs are €67,000 which is more than twice the average industrial wage, according to the paper. The review will look at overall payroll costs.

The euro is at $1.28 and 68p sterling.