Explosion in numbers renting means 850,000 people are now tenants
There has been an explosion in the number of people renting as the housing crisis worsens.
Some 850,000 people now live in rented accommodation.
Most of the rise is accounted for by Dublin, where the number of households renting privately has risen by 61pc since 2011.
This is one of the strongest rises in the number of renters ever seen in this country.
One-in-four households in the Dublin area is now renting, a report from estate agency Savills found.
The report predicted that rents would rise by up to 26pc by the end of 2018.
There are now 312,200 households that rent their home across the State.
This is up by 40,400 in the past five years, according to Savills director of research John McCartney.
The surge in the past five years has mainly been in Dublin, where the number of households renting is up 46,300 since the start of 2011.
There are now 121,800 households renting in the capital.
According to the research, some 24.5pc of all households in Dublin now rent.
In terms of the number of people, some 328,700 adults and children live in rented accommodation in Dublin alone, Dr McCartney found.
Across the State, that figure is 856,000.
But the stock of rental properties is failing to keep pace with demand, a situation that has seen rental costs soar.
In the past five years there has been an increase of 43,120 properties to rent in Dublin.
The stock of rental properties was up 54pc in Dublin, but not by enough to keep up with demand.
Dr McCartney said this contradicted claims by some that landlords are fleeing the market and the sector was contracting.
Last week the Central Statistics Office said rents rose by 1.9pc in September.
This was biggest monthly rise since November 2007. The annual rate of growth is 9.6pc.
This is despite the Government introducing a rental freeze in the residential market at the end of last year, which means existing tenants have not seen increases. But the cost of new tenancies are rising sharply.
Dr McCartney said: "House price inflation, sluggish wage growth, weakened household balance sheets and tight mortgage lending have conspired to drive people who would otherwise have been owner-occupiers into the rented market.
"At the same time, social housing tenants are increasingly being housed in private-rented accommodation. This has driven a huge increase in rental demand."