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Landlords

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This chapter analyses landlords of rental properties in Ireland, with a focus on their income, employment and numbers of properties and tenancies.

Table 3.1, below, details the numbers of individual landlords associated with an active tenancy in the RTB data included in this analysis. All analysis up until and including Figure 3.11 here focuses on individual landlords, where the registered landlord has self-reported as an individual rather than a company or other enterprise. Additional analysis here from Figure 3.12 details ownership of residential property by non-household enterprises using data from the LPT.

Show Table: Table 3.1 Number of individual RTB landlords and tenancies - by number of tenancies, 2017 to 2021

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Proportion of landlords under 45 is decreasing

The proportion of landlords aged under 45 fell from 36.4% to 25.2% between 2017 and 2021. See Figure 3.1.

The data within this graph can be found in the PxStat table TRS11.

Age group65+45-6430-440-29
201716.447.235.11.3
201817.748.632.51.2
2019195029.81.2
202020.451.4271.2
20212252.824.21

One in twenty landlords with more than 20 tenancies were under 45

About half of landlords in all three categories of landlord size - 1-2 tenancies, 3-19 tenancies and 20+ tenancies - in 2020 were aged 45-64. However, 31.1% of landlords with one or two tenancies were under 45, while only 6.0% of landlords with 20 or more tenancies were in the lower two age groups. This pattern is reversed for landlords aged 65 and over, with 18.3% of landlords with one or two tenancies in this group and 46.5% of the 20+ tenancies category. See Figure 3.2.

The data within this graph can be found in the PxStat table TRS11.

agegrp65+45-6430-440-29
1-2 tenancies18.350.629.81.3
3-19 tenancies30.455.913.10.6
20+ tenancies46.547.55.10.9

Over two-fifths of all landlords have employee income as their primary source of income

The primary source of income for 43.7% of landlords was employee income, while it was residential rental income for 20.3%. The next highest primary sources of income for landlords were self-employed income (8.5%), director income (8.5%) and private & occupational pensions (8.2%). See Figure 3.3. See Background Notes and Methodology for an explanation of the different income sources, including rental income.

The data within this graph can be found in the PxStat table TRS12.

highest_inc_typePercentage in Income Group
Employee Income43.7
Residential Rental income20.3
Self-employed Income8.5
Director Income8.5
Private & Occupational Pensions8.2
State Pensions5.3
Social Welfare (excl. Pensions)3
Commercial Rental income2.5

Close to three-quarters of individual landlords with 20 or more tenancies have residential rental income as their primary income source  

The primary source of income was employee income for just under half (47.7%) of individual landlords with one or two tenancies compared with 24.1% of landlords with 3-19 tenancies and just 3.9% of those with 20 or more. Residential rental income was the primary source of income for 16.7% of landlords with one or two tenancies compared with 37.5% of those with 3-19 tenancies and 73.1% of those with 20 or more. See Figure 3.4.

The data within this graph can be found in the PxStat table TRS12.

highest_inc_type1-2 tenancies3-19 tenancies20+ tenancies
Employee Income47.724.13.9
Residential Rental income16.737.573.1
Self-employed Income8.58.63.7
Director Income811.15.3
Private & Occupational Pensions8.194.8
State Pensions5.63.41.2
Social Welfare (excl. Pensions)3.41.20.3
Commercial Rental income25.17.7

Median total gross income for landlords rose slightly from 2017 to 2019

The median total gross income of landlords, after adjusting for inflation, was €48,729 in 2017 increasing to €50,091 by 2019.

The percentage of landlords in PAYE employment remained stable at around 46% between 2017 and 2019. The proportion who were self-employed also remained stable at about 15%. See Figure 3.5.

Total gross income includes all sources of income. See Background Notes and Methodology for further explanation of total gross income.

The data within this graph can be found in the PxStat table TRS13.

year% in PAYE Employment% Self-employedMedian Total Gross Income (inflation adjusted)25th Percentile Total Gross Income (inflation adjusted)75th Percentile Total Gross Income (inflation adjusted)
201746.215.7487292642980302
201845.915.3497002727382332
20194614.9500912776883261

Landlords rental income increased by 16% from 2017 to 2019

The median rental income (net of allowable expenses) for landlords rose from €8,548 in 2017 to €9,906 in 2019. The median gross rental income (before expenses are applied) was €13,800 in 2017 rising to €15,352 in 2019.

See Background Notes and Methodology for the definition of rental income and differences between net and gross amounts. 

The data within this graph can be found in the PxStat table TRS14.

yearMedian Rental IncomeMedian Gross Rental Income
2017854813800
2018924914400
2019990615352

Around 60% of landlords have a total gross income below €60,000

The total gross income in 2019 for just over one in five landlords was between €20,000 and €39,999 and also for one in five it was between €40,000 and €59,999. In total, 59.0% of landlords had a total gross income of less than €60,000. At the other end of the scale, 5.1% had a total gross income of over €200,000. See Figure 3.7.

The data within this graph can be found in the PxStat table TRS15.

inc_grpPercentage in Income Group
Up to €19,99916.9
€20,000-€39,99922.1
€40,000-€59,99920
€60,000-€79,99914.3
€80,000-€99,9998.8
€100,000-€119,9995.1
€120,000-€139,9993.1
€140.000-€159,9992.1
€160,000-€179,9991.4
€180,000-€199,9991.1
€200,000 and above5.1

Over 40% of Landlords with 20+ properties have a total gross income of more than €200,000  

Just over four in ten (42.9%) landlords with 20 or more tenancies had a total gross income of €200,000 or more. Landlords with 3 to 19 tenancies had lower total gross incomes, with 45.7% below €60,000, while 41.6% of those with one or two tenancies had a total gross income less than €40,000. See Figure 3.8.

The data within this graph can be found in the PxStat table TRS15.

inc_grp1-2 tenancies3-19 tenancies20+ tenancies
Up to €19,99918.58.72
€20,000-€39,99923.117.93.6
€40,000-€59,99920.219.16.5
€60,000-€79,99914.115.14.1
€80,000-€99,9998.510.57.3
€100,000-€119,9994.77.37.2
€120,000-€139,9992.84.88
€140.000-€159,9991.93.36.8
€160,000-€179,9991.22.36.1
€180,000-€199,9990.91.85.5
€200,000 and above4.19.242.9

Around 80% of landlords had a net rental income of less than €20,000 

Half (50.5%) of landlords in 2019 had a net rental income below €10,000. A further 28.6% had a net rental income between €10,000 and €19,999, so a total of 79.1% had a net rental income below €20,000.

The data within this graph can be found in the PxStat table TRS16.

inc_grpPercentage in Income Group
Up to €9,99950.5
€10,000-€19,99928.6
€20,000-€29,9999.6
€30,000-€39,9994.4
€40,000-€49,9992.3
€50,000-€59,9991.4
€60,000-€69,9990.8
€70.000-€79,9990.5
€80,000-€89,9990.4
€90,000-€99,9990.3
€100,000 and above1.2

Landlords in Dublin have the highest median total gross income

The median total gross income per landlord was highest for landlords with properties in the four local authorities in Dublin in 2019. The median was €66,256 in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown and €63,321 in Dublin City.  There were also high medians of more than €50,000 in the counties around Dublin – Kildare, Meath and Wicklow. Outside of the Dublin area, the highest medians for total gross income were for landlords with properties in Galway city (€57,211) and Cork city (€57,097).

Landlords of properties in Donegal had the lowest median total gross income at €37,709, followed by the three Border counties of Leitrim, Monaghan and Cavan. See Map 3.1.

The data within this map can be found in the PxStat table TRS17.

Map 3.1 Median Total Gross Income by Local Authority 2019 (€)

Landlords of properties in LEAs in or around Dublin have the highest median total gross income

Landlords with properties in LEAs in Dublin and the surrounding areas had the highest medians for total gross income. The three highest medians were all in Dublin – Pembroke (€75,986), South East Inner City (€76,165), and Stillorgan (€72,329). 

Landlords with properties in LEAs in the urban areas of Cork, Galway and Limerick also had high medians for total gross income. For example, the median was €62,434 in Galway City West and €60,468 in Cork City South East.

Five of the six LEAs where landlords had the lowest median total gross income were in Donegal, with the lowest in Buncrana at €32,384. Bantry-West Cork and Belmullet in Mayo also had low medians of less than €40,000. See Map 3.2.

The data within this map can be found in the PxStat table TRS18.

Map 3.2 Median Total Gross Income by Local Electoral Area 2019 (€)

Landlords of properties in the North West have the lowest median net rental income  

Landlords of properties in Donegal had the lowest median annual net rental income at €5,345, followed by Monaghan (€6,904) and Leitrim (€6,920).

The highest medians for net rental income were in the cities of Dublin, Galway and Cork. Landlords with properties in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown had the highest median of €14,995. See Map 3.3.

The data within this map can be found in the PxStat table TRS17.

Map 3.3 Median Net Rental Income by Local Authority 2019 (€)

The LEAs where landlords have the lowest net rental income are in Donegal 

The highest medians for landlord net rental incomes by LEA were all in Dublin in 2019. The top three were Pembroke (€17,949), South East Inner City (€17,163) and Kimmage-Rathmines (€16,458). The highest median in the south of the country was €12,830 in Cork City South Central while the highest in the west was Galway City Central (€12,672).

The LEAs where landlords had the lowest net rental income were in Donegal, with the lowest in Lifford-Stranorlar (€4,824) followed by Buncrana (€5,167). See Map 3.4.

The data within this map can be found in the PxStat table TRS18.

Map 3.4 Median Net Rental Income by Local Electoral Area 2019 (€)

Most common sectors of employment for Landlords are 'Human Health and Social Work Activities' and 'Finance and Real Estate'  

Human Health & Social Work Activities was the top sector of employment in 2019 for landlords at 12.3%, nearly the same as the proportion of all those in employment at 12.5%. Financial & Real Estate accounted for 10.9% of landlords in employment, more than double the proportion of 4.9% for all those in employment, and one of the biggest disparities between the two groups. Wholesale & Retail Trade made up 10.8% of all those landlords in employment, compared with 13.1% for all people in employment.

Only 2.8% of landlords were employed in Accommodation & Food Service Activities, less than half the proportion of 7.9% for all those in employment. See Figure 3.10.

The data within this graph can be found in the PxStat table TRS19.

Nace SectorRTB LandlordsFull Population (LFS)
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing (A)44.4
Industry (B, C, D & E)9.212.5
Construction (F)6.16.3
Wholesale and Retail Trade (G)10.813.1
Transportation and Storage (H)4.14.6
Accommodation and Food Service Activities (I)2.87.9
Information and Communication (J)5.15.2
Financial and Real Estate (K & L)10.94.9
Professional, Scientific and Technical Activities (M)9.16
Administrative and Support Service Activities (N)3.74.7
Public Administration and Defence (O)9.34.8
Education (P)9.67.9
Human Health and Social Work Activities (Q)12.312.5
Other NACE Activities (R, S, T & U)35.2

Almost a third of landlords in employment with 20 or more tenancies work in the 'Financial and Real Estate' sector

Just over three in ten (33.0%) landlords in employment and who had 20 or more tenancies worked in the in Financial & Real Estate sector, compared to one in ten (10.5%) landlords with one or two tenancies. Landlords with 20+ tenancies also had a large distribution in Professional, Scientific and Technical Activities (15.3%) and Construction (10.9%). There was low representation in the Administrative and Support Service Activities sector and Information and Communication sector with both just at 0.7%.   

Landlords in employment and with 3 to 19 tenancies were more distributed by employment sector. The top three were Financial & Real Estate (12.6%), Wholesale and Retail Trade (11.4%) and Professional, Scientific & Technical Activities (11.0%).

Landlords with 1-2 tenancies also were more distributed. Human Health and Social Work Activities was their top classifications at 12.7%, followed by Wholesale and Retail Trade (10.8%) and Financial and Real Estate (10.5%). See Figure 3.11.

The data within this graph can be found in the PxStat table TRS19.

NACE_Sector1-2 tenancies3-19 tenancies20+ tenancies
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing (A)3.86.38
Industry (B, C, D & E)9.48.12.2
Construction (F)5.88.210.9
Wholesale and Retail Trade (G)10.811.48
Transportation and Storage (H)4.13.82.2
Accommodation and Food Service Activities (I)2.73.55.8
Information and Communication (J)5.33.60.7
Financial and Real Estate (K & L)10.512.633
Professional, Scientific and Technical Activities (M)8.81115.3
Administrative and Support Service Activities (N)3.73.40.7
Public Administration and Defence (O)9.67.32.2
Education (P)9.87.61.5
Human Health and Social Work Activities (Q)12.710.36.6
Other NACE Activities (R, S, T & U)32.92.9
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Prior analysis undertaken by the CSO on residential property transactions related to the non-household sector have shown purchases and sales by and from non-household entities to have increased in recent years. The analysis in this section details ownership of residential property by non-household enterprises using data from the LPT. See Background Notes and Methodology

Over a thousand different non-household owners with a classification of 'Renting and operating of own or leased real estate' identified 

Non-household owners of residential property - with Local Property Tax (LPT) returns - in the 'Renting and operating of own or leased real estate' detailed NACE classification remain the top NACE classification from 2016 to 2020. The number of different owners in this category increased slightly from 1,129 in 2016 to 1,244 in 2020. The number of non-household owners in 'Activities of holding companies' saw the biggest overall increase from 2016 rising from 306 to 558 by 2020. See Figure 3.12.

When breaking down the non-household owners by the number of properties they have, it can be seen that there are a smaller number of non-household owners with 20 plus properties. The number of owners by three sizes of owners (1-2 properties, 3-19 properties and 20+) can be found, along with the data for the graph below, in the PxStat table TRS20.

Nace DescriptionL6820 Renting and operating of own or leased real estateF4110 Development of building projectsF4120 Construction of residential and non-residential buildingsK6420 Activities of holding companiesI5630 Beverage serving activities
20161129982916306265
201711971066916377310
201812591147903431340
201912651199895500358
202012441174865558362

The number of residential properties owned by companies with the classification of 'Renting and operating of own or leased real estate' has seen a steady rise between 2016 and 2020.  

The highest number of non-household owned residential properties - of those classifications examined here relating to private entities -  are within the NACE classification of 'Renting and operating of own or leased real estate'. The number of properties within this category has grown from 16,908 in 2016 to 25,003 by 2020.

The numbers of properties owned by companies who operate within the classifications 'Construction of Residential and Non-Residential Buildings' and 'Trusts Funds and Similar Financial Entities' have both decreased over this period.

Properties owned by companies with the classifications of 'Activities of Holding Companies' and 'Other Activities Auxiliary to Insurance and Pension Funding' have increased between 2016 and 2020, raising from 2,116 to 2,824 and from 941 to 1,835 respectively. See Figure 3.13.

When breaking down the number of properties of non-household owners by the number of properties they have, it can be seen that non-household owners with 20 or more properties account for a larger number of properties across all key NACE classifications. The number of properties of non-household owners by three sizes of owners (1-2 properties, 3-19 properties and 20+) can be found, along with the data for the graph below, in the PxStat table TRS20.

naceL6820 Renting and operating of own or leased real estateF4110 Development of building projectsF4120 Construction of residential and non-residential buildingsK6420 Activities of holding companiesK6430 Trusts, funds and similar financial entitiesK6629 Other activities auxiliary to insurance and pension funding
2016169088411611721164350941
20171972481685365207242781084
20182150680124665232840111339
20192335278134034263433301630
20202500372053801282427671835

Link to all interactive tables for this publication: PxStat

Go to next chapter: Tenants