Rents increased throughout 2016 at their fastest annual pace since the website Daft.ie started compiling statistics on the rental market in 2002.
Average rents nationwide rose by 13.5% in the year to December, according to the latest report from the property website (which can be viewed by clicking here.)
In the final three months of 2016, the average monthly national rent stood at a record €1,111 — the third quarter in a row that this figure has increased.
In Dublin, the annual rate of rent inflation last year was 14.5%, the second highest rate on record since 2002.
Rents here in the capital are now at an average of €1,643, 13.7% higher than their previous peak in early 2008, an average of almost €200 a month.
The Daft.ie report shows that housing supply remains low.
There were just under 4,000 properties available to rent nationwide at the start of February.
This is a slight improvement on the same date the previous year when there were just under 3,600 properties available.
However, it remains just one-quarter of the level seen in 2012, when there were almost 12,000 properties available to rent nationwide.
The author of the report Ronan Lyons, who is an economist at Trinity College described the figures as “very concerning”. He said:
“Not only do rents continue to reach new peaks, rental inflation continues to increase in both Dublin and nationwide.
“The increase in rents in the final three months of the year in Dublin was 4%, the second fastest three-month increase on record.
“While measures to control rental inflation may help sitting tenants, they do little to address the underlying issue of a lack of supply.
“Indeed, they may hinder supply by encouraging the exit of existing landlords who had not substantially increased rents in recent years.
“Addressing construction costs remains the best way of addressing supply shortages and the audit of build costs remains the single most important next step for policymakers, for that reason.”
The Simon Community’s spokeswoman Niamh Randall described the new figures as “extremely worrying” and said “spiralling rents and dwindling supply” were contributing to the problem of homelessness.
“Keeping people in the homes that they already have is key to stopping the flow of people into homelessness, she said.
Chairman of the Irish Property Owners’ Association Stephen Faughnan also spoke of the threat of homelessness. He said:
“This report makes worrying reading for the Government and their much lauded Housing Action Plan.
“A dwindling supply of accommodation and homelessness increasing, what is the Government
actually doing other than producing fancy plans which may look good on paper but which
realistically, will not solve the problems for the current generation of renters?”