Donegal rents rose by 14% in the first quarter of 2017

Simon Coveney's rent pressure zones may be doing more harm than good to the private rental sector, according to the latest rent index from Daft.

Rents in Meath have rocketed by 16.7 per cent in the past year, while over the past three years the cost of renting in county has risen by nearly 50 per cent.

Rents in Donegal rose by over 14% this the first quarter of 2017 compared with the same period previous year.

In the city, the average rent is 996 euro, up more than 2 per cent on the previous quarter.

It was the fourth quarter in a row that a new all-time high for the cost of renting has been set.

The cheapest place to rent anywhere in the country is Leitrim, where the average monthly rent is just €517, likely less than one would pay for a single room in the capital.

'However, sitting rents have increased by just 27 per cent.

Dublin rents have increased the most year-on-year. Rents in Galway saw a similar rate of increase, rising by 10.6% in a year, while rents in Limerick have risen 12.6% in the same period. "In addition the Affordable Housing Scheme needs to be re-opened; Local Authorities need to build thousands more houses and provide Cost to Rent Homes as promised in the Programme for Government". This is the second lowest number on record, in a series that started in January 2006.

Rents across Cork city and county are at the highest level they have ever been, while the housing supply, both here and across the country, is "plummeting".

"The market continues to exhibit signs of extreme distress", said Ronan Lyons, economist at Trinity College Dublin and author of the Daft Report.

However, Stephen Faughnan of the Irish Property Owners' Association claimed that the State has "punished landlords that kept their rents low".

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