Concerns have been raised about homelessness and the challenges facing students
Rents in Ireland are continuing to climb past their peak from the Celtic Tiger, new figures show.
The latest report from property website Daft.ie shows rents across the country are up by 11.8% to the end of June compared to last year.
The average national rent now stands at €1,159 euro.
Renters pay an average of €1,741 in Dublin city centre (18.1% above the 2008 peak), €1,122 in Cork, €1,026 in Galway, and €919 in Limerick.
According to Daft, the average nationwide rent has increased by 56% since 'bottoming out' in late 2011, and is now 12.6% above the 2008 peak.
Ronan Lyons from Daft says the number of properties available to rent is also at record lows.
He observed: "With more renters now than ever before, there are actually fewer properties available on the market. It gives you an idea of just how tough the rental market is."
Concerns have been raised about the impact of increasing rents on homeless.
Pat Doyle, CEO at Peter McVerry Trust, said the figures are "deeply worrying".
He said: "The rising cost of rent is the main source of new homeless cases, and our worry is that we will see even more households losing their homes as the situation worsens.”
Niamh Randall of the Simon Communities says the issues of low supply and soaring rents "must be constantly monitored and addressed".
"Full rent certainty and security of tenure are the building blocks for a stable rental sector and we renew our call for their urgent introduction," she added.
Sinn Féin TD John Brady called for a change in policy in order to "stop enriching landlords and to meeting the needs of citizens".
Labour spokesperson on Housing, Jan O'Sullivan, argued that the report shows the failure of the rent pressure zone model, adding: "The rate of rent increases is completely out of control with no reference towards affordability, salaries or the inflation rate in the economy as a whole."
There is also a warning on how soaring rents and the housing shortage is impacting students.
Writing in the Daft report, the presidents of the UCD and Trinity student unions argue: "College authorities, students unions and Government need to promote college digs as a priority over the next few weeks to make sure Irish homeowners are informed of how they can contribute to solving this crisis and the cash flow gains to be made.
"Otherwise many young people coming from outside urban areas - who don’t live near a university and can’t shoulder the costs of a long, pricey commute - will have to defer their college courses this September."