Lack of supply continues to cause housing crisis
The cost of renting in Dublin has passed the levels at the peak of the boom for the first time.
The Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB) says rents in the capital are almost half a per cent higher than they were in 2007, due to a rise of nearly 2% in the last quarter of 2015.
Nationally, rents rose by almost 10% last year, but rents outside Dublin are still 14.5% lower than they were at their peak.
The PRTB says, overall, the rate of growth in rental prices eased in the last part of the year.
But Niamh Randall of the Simon Communities says the current political uncertainty is not helping to resolve the housing crisis:
"We are really concerned that urgent action needs to be taken on this crisis.
We need to look at full rent certainty, a plan for the private rental sector and we urgently need an increase in rent supplement.
So we are really calling on those tasked with forming a new government to really see the housing and homeless issue as a red line issue."
The latest figures from the PRTB show the average cost of renting a home in the capital is now more than 14 hundred euro, or 13 hundred for an apartment.
David Duffy, Economist with ERSI says the report is evidence that it is more difficult to secure a rental property:
"The report doesn't cover the availability, but all the anecdotal evidence is that it is more difficult to secure a rental property...and demand remains strong."
David Duffy is a Senior economist at the ESRI.
He says there is a possibility that the rent hike was caused by the new 2-year rent freeze rules:
"In the data that we have, it is too early to say, because the measures only came in in December and this data only relates to October/November/December.
I think what you tend to see internationally, is that when some form of rent certainty is announced you tend to get some form of front-loading."