€2,800-a-year more to rent your home than at height of Celtic Tiger
The cost of renting a home continues to surge, to levels well above those seen during the Celtic Tiger.
The average rent is now nearly €3,000-a-year more than it was at the height of the property boom.
Rents rose nationwide by an average 11.5pc in the year to March, according to the latest quarterly Rental Report by Daft.ie.
It was the eighth quarter in a row of double-digit rises - and a new all-time high.
The average monthly rent during the first three months of the year was €1,261.
This is €230-a-month or €2,784-a-year higher than it was at the height of the boom in 2008.
Dublin rents have gone up 12.8pc, or €430, in the past 12 months, and are 30pc higher than they were during the last peak.
The figures are for new rental agreements. Rent caps are in place for existing tenants.
However, it is not only in Dublin that rents are soaring. Rental costs are continuing to rise at a rapid rate in other cities across the country.
In Limerick, rents in March were up 17pc on the same time last year.
In Cork, there has been a 9.3pc rise in the cost to €1,210-a-month.
Renters have more than rising costs to contend with.
Finding a property in the first place is proving more and more difficult: only 3,086 properties were available to rent nationwide last month.
This is the lowest number recorded for this time of year since 2006.
Last year, there were nearly 500 more properties for rent.
In Dublin, there were only 1,265 homes available to rent last month, one-third below the average for the past five years.
Prof Ronan Lyons, an economist at Trinity College Dublin and the author of the Rental Report, said the State needed close to 50,000 new homes a year to meet demand.
He said more than 15,000 rental homes are needed nationwide each year.
Dublin alone needs an apartment block of 200 units to open every week from now until 2080.
Prof Lyons said the increases show no signs of moderating.
"The problem is countrywide, although it is most acute in Dublin," he said, adding that it was clear rental inflation was well above any reasonable measure of wealth.
However, rents are only a symptom of the housing crisis.
"The cause remains a chronic and worsening lack of rental supply," said Prof Lyons.
"Policy must focus on dramatically increasing the construction of urban apartments over the coming years."