The cost of renting a home in Dublin has now surpassed the previous peak recorded at the height of the State’s property boom.
The average monthly rental for a house in the capital in the first quarter is €1,454, according to the latest rent index published by the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB).
The figure is 0.2 per cent higher than that recorded in the last quarter of 2007, just before the crash.
A year ago the cost of renting a house was €1,342, so a tenant in the capital will have to pay some €1,300 more over the next 12 months.
Nationwide, the cost of renting a home continued to climb in the first part of the year, although the rate at which rents increased slowed compared with the last three months of 2015.
The new data shows that monthly rents were up half a point nationally in the first quarter of the year when compared with the previous three months.
A quarter-on-quarter growth rate of 1.6 per cent was recorded when the RTB published the index three months ago.
Rents in Dublin grew by 0.2 per cent over the first three months of the year.
Rents for houses in Dublin increased by 0.6 per cent while rents for apartments rose by 0.4 per cent.
For properties outside Dublin, rents were up by 0.9 per cent, with the cost of renting a house declining by half a point and apartment rents jumping by 4.2 per cent.
"The trend in recent indices has been upwards. However, it appears that the rate of growth is slowing," said RTB director Rosalind Carroll. "While it is too early to make any real deductions from this, this is the second quarter in succession that we have seen growth slow".
While the rent increases over the first three months of the year were small, as a whole rents were 8.6 per cent higher in the first three months of this year than at the same point last year.
Annual growth in Dublin to the end of March was up by 8.7 per cent, with house rents up 8.4 per cent and apartment rents climbing by 8.1 per cent.
Annual growth outside Dublin showed broadly similar annual increases, recording growth of 8.8 per cent year on year in 2015.
The monthly rental for houses outside Dublin went up by 7.6 per cent, while apartments outside Dublin experienced an increase of 11.3 per cent.
The average rental for private sector accommodation across the whole State in the first quarter of this year was €922, up from €849 a year ago.
Nationally, the cost of renting an apartment was put at €972 compared to €885 12 months ago. For a house, it was €900, compared with €835 a year earlier.
The rent index shows that, nationally, rents peaked in the last quarter of 2007 before declining by more than 25 per cent to their lowest point in early 2012.
Nationally, rents are said to be 9 per cent lower than they were at their peak. While the peak-to-trough in the Dublin market was similar to that experienced nationally, the strength of the recovery in Dublin means they have now surpassed the previous high point.
In contrast, the market outside Dublin has experienced more subdued growth and rental levels are now 13.9 per cent off their peak levels.