The average cost of renting a home in Ireland is now just €2 a month less than the levels paid at the height of the Celtic Tiger boom a decade ago.
That’s according to a new report from the Residential Tenancies Board, which found that the average renter was now paying €986 per month.
The RTB reports that private sector rents have risen by 7.8% year on year and are increasing at a faster rate than house prices due to the shortage of new units coming on the market.
While nationally rents are 2.7% below the peak, in Dublin they are 8.3% higher following an increase of more than 11% in the cost of renting an apartment in the capital in the last year.
The Rent Index for the last quarter of 2016 also shows that one-in-four tenants is paying more than €1,300 a month for their home. It also shows that in pockets of the country, including parts of Waterford, Cork, Carlow and the Midlands, rents have increased by almost 30% over the past 12 months, albeit from a low base.
The most expensive place in which to rent a home is Stillorgan, Co Dublin, at €2,062 per month. The cheapest is Glenties in Donegal, at €337.
Yesterday Maynooth in Co Kildare and Cobh in Co Cork were added to the list of residential areas where rent increases are capped.
Minister for Housing Simon Coveney said more than 60% of rented homes in the State were now covered by the protection measures, which limit increases to 4 per cent a year.
The Minister last year designated Dublin and Cork city as pressure zones and in January added a further 12 local electoral areas – incorporating some 26 towns and villages around the cities of Dublin, Cork and Galway.
Mr Coveney said the Cobh and Maynooth electoral areas had been selected because they met two key criteria – rents were above the national average and rising at a rate of more than 7 per cent in at least four of the last six quarters.
He stressed the independence of the rent pressure system and said he could only make a designation if identified by the rent index.