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'Grim' figures suggest rents rising at fastest rate in at least 14 years

Rents are rising at their fastest rate in at least 14 years, a report suggests.

The latest figures from property website Daft.ie show a 13.5% increase in average rents around the country last year.

It is the highest jump recorded since the firm starting publishing its quarterly rental reports in 2002.

Ronan Lyons, Trinity College Dublin economist and report author, said the "grim" figures show recently introduced rental caps could be making the housing crisis worse for many people.

"While measures to control rental inflation may help sitting tenants, they do little to address the underlying issue of a lack of supply," he said.

"Indeed, they may hinder supply, by encouraging the exit of existing landlords who had not substantially increased rents in recent years."

Mr Lyons said construction costs needed to be slashed to help the building of more housing.

Average rents countrywide have reached a new high at 1,111 euro a month.

In Dublin, rents have soared 14.5% to an average of 1,643 a month; in Cork, they are up 12% to 1,096 euro; in Galway, up 10% to 975 euro; and in Limerick up 12.5% to 875 euro.

Rents in Waterford are up almost 11% to an average of 745 euro.

There were just under 4,000 properties available to rent nationwide at the start of February - a quarter of the available properties five years ago, the report shows.

"The latest figures from the rental market remain very concerning," said Mr Lyons.

"Not only do rents continue to reach new peaks, rental inflation continues to increase in both Dublin and nationwide."

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