Breaking point: Dublin rents are now higher than boom times

New figures show rents have increased by almost 10% nationwide

Breaking point: Dublin rents are now higher than boom times

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The average cost of rent has increased by nearly 10% across the country, with prices in Dublin reaching record levels.

Rents in the capital were 3.9% higher at the end of June than the previous boom-time peak in 2007, according to the latest Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) index.

Nationally, the average rent for a house was €929 in the second quarter of 2016 – a 9.3% rise on a year earlier, when it was €850.

The cost of renting an apartment was €1,014 on average, compared to €908 in the same period last year – a 11.7% hike.

Overall, the number of properties with a weekly rent of over €300 has risen from 7% in 2013 to 25%.

Dublin prices were up by 7.5% for houses (€1,388 to €1,492) and 9.8% for apartments (€1,246 to €1,368).

While rents have also increased outside the capital, they remain 11.2% off their peak levels.

The Simon Communities said the figures show the market is not slowing down, despite rent stability measures introduced last year.

The homeless and housing charity called for the introduction of full rent certainty to support people struggling to secure a home.

"The rent stability measures that were introduced in November 2015 are having little impact as rents are continuing to rise," spokesperson Niamh Randall said.

"People renting their homes must have the security of knowing that their rents are in line with real market rates and index-linked, for example, to the Consumer Price Index."

She added that rent supplement and housing assistance payment limits must be monitored to ensure to meet increasing market rates.

Commenting on the data, Rosalind Carroll of the PRTB said: "While the previous two quarters have shown a slowdown in the rate of increase in rents, the Q2 2016 results show the rate of growth in rents increasing again, particularly in the Dublin market.

"Adding to the underlying supply and demand imbalance is the return of net inward migration as confirmed by the Central Statistics Office last month (+3,100) for the first time since 2009."

The quarterly index is compiled by the Economic and Social Research Institute on behalf of the RTB.