According to the latest quarterly Rental Report by Daft.ie, year-on-year inflation in rents nationwide eased in the final three months of 2014.
The national average rent between October and December was just under â¬950 ($1,083 USD), that's 9.7% higher than last year. However, this is down from a 10.8% annual increase in the second and third quarters and marks the first time since mid-2009 that rental inflation has eased.
This national trend is being driven by a moderation in Dublin's rental inflation, which has eased from 16.5% in April to below 10% by January 2015.
In the other city centres, rents continue to rise but at a slightly slower pace. In Cork city, rents are 7.3% higher than last year. In Galway they are 7% higher, Limerick has seen a 6.2% rise while in Waterford city rental inflation was at 5.1% in the final three months of 2014.
Offsetting the easing in rental inflation in Ireland's urban centres has been more rapid inflation, in particular in Dublin's commuter counties. Rents across the four commuter counties were 14.1% higher than a year previously in late 2014 - the first time in this cycle that inflation has been slower in Dublin than in its commuter counties.
This is related to a significant tightening of supply. Nationwide, there were just over 5,200 properties available to rent on February 1st, down more than a quarter on the same figure a year previously. This is the lowest level of availability nationwide since May 2007.
Commenting on the report, Ronan Lyons, economist at TCD and author of the Daft Report, said: "The slow-down in rental inflation in Dublin at a time when new listings are sluggish suggests that a limit to affordability has been reached there. Over the last 12 months, availability has stabilized in Dublin at very low levels, while it has tightened further in the Commuter Counties. The underlying lack of construction in a city growing by roughly 10,000 new families every year has created a new generation of commuter, one driven not by preference for green space but by the hard math of affordability."
Year-on-year change in rents - major cities, Q4 2014: