AVERAGE rents in Cork City have risen to €1,122 - an increase of almost 7% on 2016 - with the average rent rate in the county now standing at €832 – up 11% according to the latest figures from Daft.ie.
A one-bed apartment in the city will, on average, cost renters €848 a month, with a two-bed house coming in at €954.
Ronan Lyons, economist and author of the Daft Report, said the rise in prices was due a lack of supply.
“The start of the academic year in September traditionally meant that July and August are two of the busiest months for the rental market each year. In the last two years, however, there has been no summer rush of properties to rent. In a market with such chronically deficient supply, it is therefore unsurprising to see rents reach a new high," said Mr Lyons.
“While rent controls may help sitting tenants, they make the market even tougher for those looking for a new home. The rental market remains in severe distress due to a lack of supply and thus the appropriate policy response is to boost supply of all forms. This includes purpose-built student accommodation,” he added.
Nationally, rents rose nationwide by an average of 11.8% in the year to June 2017.
The average monthly rent nationwide during the second quarter of 2017 was €1,159, the fifth quarter in a row a new all-time high has been set.
The rate of inflation represents a slight slowdown in inflation from the rate recorded in the first quarter of 2017 (13.4%), which was the second largest on record.
Roughan MacNamara, a spokesperson for housing charity Focus Ireland, said up to 1,800 children are returning to school without a permanent home and a review of the Government's Rebuilding Ireland strategy should incentivise property owners with empty units to rent them out.
“This situation is really impacting on children and on their education. It is fundamentally wrong this is being allowed to happen,” he said.
“The review of Rebuilding Ireland must take steps to urgently increase access to housing by encouraging those with empty properties to make them available. This must be a carrot and stick approach such as introducing more incentives for people to rent out empty houses alongside a tax on empty properties in this time of crisis,” he added.
Chief executive of the Peter McVerry Trust Pat Doyle has urged the Government to instruct and resource councils to begin building affordable rental accommodation.
“The rising cost of rent is the main source of new homeless cases, and our worry is that we will see even more households losing their homes as the situation worsens,” said Mr Doyle.
“Unfortunately, rising rents also make our job of finding homes more difficult.” “We don’t have enough social housing so we are overly reliant on the private rental sector.
"If rents continue on their runaway path, and alternative affordable supply is not forthcoming, then we cannot secure homes for people to move out of homeless services.”