Dublin-listed real estate investment trust, IRES REIT - the biggest private landlord in the state - recorded an increase in net rental income of almost 6% in the first half of the year to €31.3 million.

It said the improved performance was due to growth in its rental assets portfolio arising mainly from acquisitions.

That saw the group posting a profit of €27.4 million for the period, which compared very favourably to the loss of €10.9 million reported at the same time last year.

IRES REIT's portfolio value increased by 5.6% to stand at €1.46 billion at the end of June.

The group said rent collection rates across its residential portfolio remained steady at 99% with the occupancy rate at 98.6%.

It added 148 new homes to its portfolio since the end of last year bringing its overall total to 3,836.

"We continue to invest in line with our growth strategy with ongoing development of 130 new apartments and town houses in aggregate due for delivery in 2022 at Bakers Yard and through the forward purchase contract for Merrion Road, Dublin," Margaret Sweeney, Chief Executive of IRES said.

"We entered into a 25- year social housing lease for 128 units at Hampton Wood that is expected to close in August 2021."