DUBLIN, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) -- The housing rent in Ireland has set a record high for the seventh consecutive quarter due to increasing demand and shortage of supply, said a leading online property dealer here on Tuesday.
In a quarterly rental price report released on its website, Daft, a Dublin-headquartered property trader, said the the average rent in the country went up 10.4 percent in 2017 compared with a year ago.
The mean monthly rent in the final quarter of last year reached 1,227 euros (about 1,515 U.S. dollars), said the report, adding that this is the highest figure recorded in the country for the seventh quarter in a row.
Rents in the country's capital Dublin have surpassed the previous peak time in 2008 by 26 percent, said the report.
The average rent in Dublin in the last quarter of 2017 stood at an all-time high of 1,822 euros, much higher than the averages recorded in the other cities of the country, it said.
According to the report, Cork stood in the second place in terms of rents by reporting an average price of 1,180 euros in the fourth quarter of last year, followed by Galway (1,096 euros) and Limerick (1,004 euros).
"2017 marks the fourth consecutive year of double-digit gains in rents nationwide," said Ronan Lyon, an economist from Trinity College Dublin, adding that the underlying pressure for rising rents remains due to a chronic shortage of available rental accommodation at a time of strong demand.
There were just over 3,100 properties available to rent in Dublin at the beginning of this February, which is the lowest level since 2006, said the Daft report.
To protect the interests of tenants, the Irish government has invented a rent pressure zone mechanism under which landlords can not randomly increase their rents beyond a rate fixed by the government for each different zone unless landlord can justify their increases by providing evidence of price hikes of three comparable properties in the same area.
Local property watchers, however, believe that the government-initiated rent pressure zone mechanism is not working as there are many loopholes with it.(1 euro = 1.235 U.S. dollars)