The State's largest property owner, Irish Residential Properties REIT, said its net rental income for the six months to the end of June rose by 4.1% on full occupancy levels.

Irish Residential Properties REIT's revenue grew by 6.7% to €42.1m for the six month period.

It said that the revenue growth was driven by the acquisition of the Ashbrook development in Clontarf in Dublin, organic rental growth and improved occupancy.

The REIT's portfolio now consists of 3,998 homes across 38 properties.

I-RES REIT said its overall portfolio occupancy rate rose to 99.3% from 98.6% the same time last year.

This represents full occupancy when allowing for short term vacancies due to turnovers.

Its net rental income increased to €32.6m, up 4.1% on the same time last year, driven by the same factors driving revenue growth and moderated due to increased cost associated with property taxes, utilities and repairs and maintenance costs.

It saw "significant" portfolio growth due to the acquisition of Ashbrook - with 108 units delivered - and the completed development of School Yard (61 units) in Dublin city centre.

I-RES REIT said it expects to close its acquisition of the Tara View development in Merrion Road (69 units) shortly and have also entered into a contract to sell 128 units at Hampton Wood.

It also noted that its overall portfolio average monthly rent rose by 2.9% to €1,688 from €1,641 the same time last year.

Margaret Sweeney, the company's chief executive, said that against a challenging macroeconomic backdrop, I-RES REIT delivered a strong performance across all parts of the business in the first half of 2022.

But Ms Sweeney said that housing in Ireland remains challenging, mainly due to a significant lack of supply, and the company was pleased to be adding much-needed new homes to the market.

"This year we have grown our portfolio through the investment in 152 homes in Ashbrook in Clontarf (44 of which will be delivered in 2023), and the delivery of 61 units in our new development - The School Yard," the CEO said.

"We also expect to close on a further 69 new homes in the Tara View development shortly. We are delighted to add to the supply of high-quality private rental accommodation with these exceptional schemes, which have strong sustainability credentials and are in excellent city locations close to employment, amenities and transport," she added.

Margaret Sweeney said the company is acutely aware that the year ahead will be impacted by inflation and rising cost pressures.

"Despite these headwinds, we are strongly positioned to meet these challenges and remain confident that we will continue to execute on our vision of building great communities by providing full-service, high-quality, energy-efficient homes to our residents. We look forward to continuing to play an important role in delivering sustainable housing solutions to the Irish market," she added.

Dublin rental demand keeps rising and rising

Ms Sweeney also said today that demand for rental accommodation in Dublin is growing from already sky high levels to such a degree that it could have recently filled a new apartment block 30 times over.

Chronic supply shortages pushed Irish rental properties to a new record low this month, with just 716 homes available to a population of 5.1 million people as of August 1, property website said earlier this week.

Margaret Sweeney said the company received 600 requests to view 20 new apartments it listed last month near Dublin's city centre.

The 61-unit development was fully occupied within a week of the builders completing the project, she added.

"We're definitely seeing much greater demand, there is a real shortage of good available accommodation. We've seen it increasing month-on-month," she said.

"It's coming through in the fundamentals, unemployment is even lower than it was pre-Covid, there's been quite strong foreign direct investment. We've a very young population as well as less emigration than previous decades," she added.

Shares in the company moved lower in Dublin trade today.