RENTS shot up above the €1,000 mark in Dublin in the past year, but fell slightly for properties outside the capital.
There was a 6.4pc surge in the cost of renting in the Dublin area. It now costs just over €1,041 to rent a home or apartment in the capital, some €63 a month more than 12 months ago.
But rents fell by 0.2pc outside the capital, according to an index of actual rents compiled by the State's Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB) and think tank the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
Outside Dublin, the average rent in the three months to the end of September was €620, down by €2 from the rent paid in the same period last year.
But the PRTB said the decline in rents outside Dublin may be about to be reversed.
This is because there was a slight rise in the cost of renting a property in September compared with earlier in the year.
Director of the PRTB, Anne Marie Caulfield, said the figures indicated that a two-speed market was in operation, with rises in Dublin and a marginal fall in rental costs in the rest of the country.
However, she said it got more expensive to rent a home in the three months to September, when compared with the April to June period.
"This may indicate that the upward trend in Dublin is now also beginning in the rental market outside the capital, especially for houses," Ms Caulfield said.
Some 46,000 households signed a new rental agreement in the July to September period, according to the PRTB, which is the regulator for the rental sector.
One in five households now rents their homes as a lack of mortgage credit and a preference for renting among younger people has made it more popular.
This amounts to 475,000 households now renting, up by almost 50pc from 2006, according to separate Central Statistics Office figures.
The average rent for a three-bed semi in Co Dublin is €1,091, the PRTB said.
It costs €828 to rent a one-bed apartment in Rathmines, and €924 for a two-bed apartment in Blanchardstown, Dublin.
In Glanmire in Co Cork, it currently costs about €833 a month to rent a three-bed house.
In Co Limerick, the average rent is €638 for a private property, with €725 the cost in Co Galway.
The average standardised rent in Dublin in the third quarter of this year was €1,041, compared with €978 a year ago.
For houses, it costs €1,157 compared to €1,095 a year ago in the capital. For apartments, it is €1,042, compared with €983 a year ago,
The PRTB pointed out that its index tracks actual rents paid, rather than advertised rents or asking prices.