Rents in Ireland hit a record high during the first quarter of the year, while supply in the rental market is at an all-time low, according to the latest Rental Price Report from property website Daft.ie.
Rents rose by an average of 13.4% in the year to March, with the average monthly rent reaching €1,131 in the first quarter of 2017.
In each of the last four quarters a new all-time record high has now been recorded.
Dublin, at €1,668, is the most expensive monthly rent in the country, followed by Wicklow (€1,168), and Kildare (€1,131).
At €517, Leitrim is the county with the cheapest average monthly rent.
Nationally, there were just 3,084 properties to rent at the beginning of this month. This is the second lowest number on record dating back to the beginning of the series in January 2006.
As a result, the availability of rental accommodation has not improved on the all-time low recorded in May of last year, when 3,082 properties were available nationwide.
In Dublin, there were just 1,074 properties available to rent in Dublin on May 1, the lowest figure recorded in the Daft series.
Commenting on the report, its author and Trinity College economist Ronan Lyons said the Irish rental market was now beginning to show signs of “extreme distress”.
“While the headline rate of inflation in rents has eased slightly, the market continues to exhibit signs of extreme distress. Rents are at a new all-time high, while the number of homes available to rent remains at the lowest levels on record,” he said.
Mr Lyons said the introduction of rent pressure zones by the Government can only ever have a limited effect in a market with such little supply.
“Regulatory measures designed to limit rent increases could only ever have a very limited effectiveness in a market with such a scarcity of supply.
“Indeed, there is evidence to suggest that rent increases for sitting tenants have been only half the size of increases faced by new tenants.
“The more appropriate solution remains to increase supply. This includes both making better use of the existing stock of housing and building substantially more, in particular more apartments,” he said.
Daft.ie said it is recording large increases in activity on the site with an average of over 1,000 property searches every minute. Each month more than 2.5m unique users visit Daft.ie.