The rate of increase in advertised rents slowed during the first three months of the year, rising just 1% compared to the previous quarter.
Latest data from the property listings website Daft.ie shows average market rent stood at €1,750 per month during the period.
The report’s author, economist Dr Ronan Lyons, said the upward pressure on rents continues to be driven by very significant shortages in the supply of rental accommodation.
“The private rental market has been under increasing stress over the last two years, as first society reopened after the Covid-19 pandemic and then the war in Ukraine led to a refugee crisis,” he said.
But Dr Lyons said the figures in this latest report offer some crumbs of comfort for those gravely concerned about the health of Ireland’s rental market.
“Availability of homes to rent has stopped falling, albeit at extremely low levels, while the quarterly change in rents seen January to March was far smaller than the average increase seen in 2021 and 2022,” he said.
Market rents rose by 11.7% in the year to March, a high rate in historical terms, but lower than the peak inflation rate of 14.1% recorded in the third quarter of last year
Just 959 homes were available to rent on 1 May across the country.
That was up 13% when compared to the same date last year.
Nevertheless, it remains one of the three lowest availability of stock for that date since Daft.ie began collecting the data in 2006 and a quarter of the average level between 2015 and 2019.
Asking rents varied considerably between regions. Dublin saw rents rise by 0.5%, but in the four other cities, they fell by an average of 1.8%.
In Cork city, it is the first time since the last quarter of 2013 that advertised rents have not increased quarter on quarter.
Leinster recorded a 0.5% increase in rents sought, but growth was stronger in Munster, Connacht and Ulster, at 3.8%.
Daft.ie also carried out a survey of sitting tenants, in order to gather data about how much they were paying, compared to new tenancies.
On average sitting tenant rents have risen by 4.1% over the last year, while over the past seven years since the introduction of Rent Pressure Zones they have risen by an average of 20%.
This compares to an increase of three quarters in rents sought on the open market during the same period.
Dr Lyons said the solution to Ireland’s rental housing shortage requires significant action by policymakers.
“The number of rental homes coming on to the market in newly-built developments has held up in recent months but is likely to reduce in the quarters ahead, unless issues around planning certainty and viability are addressed,” he said.
“Ultimately, policymakers must have a clear plan on how tens of thousands of new rental homes will be delivered this decade in all major towns and cities.”