Private rents have fallen by 0.9% in the month of April – the first monthly decline in 2012, according to the latest figures from the CSO.
The year-to-year index of rents is still up 2.2% but that is below the 4% increase recorded overall since the start of 2011.
The decline has been attributed in some sectors to the reductions made in rent assistance payments, which were announced by the Department of Social Protection in January.
These reductions, which the department hopes will lead to a saving of €500 million in its budget, are expected to impact almost 100,000 households, with 98,603 receiving some form of assistance by the end of last year.
Elsewhere, housing has stopped being the biggest driver of annual inflation, due to mortgage costs declining.
However, energy costs have risen by 9% in the last 12 months, according to the CSO.