This took the average national rent to €1,131, 10% above the previous 2008 peak.

In the rest of Limerick, rents were on average 9% higher in the first three months of 2017 than a year previously.

In Cork county, renters are now paying an average of €806 a month - a jump of more than 13% in the last 12 months alone. However, there are very few homes for sale, and a small number being built.

The cost of renting a home in Clare is continuing to rise, though at a slightly slower rate than the national average.

"The message from the rental market to policymakers is the same as it has been for over five years now: more supply is needed", Ronan Lyons, economist at the country's prestigious Trinity College Dublin.

When compared to the same period previous year, rents in the city have increased by nearly 11 percent and have increased by 14 per cent in the county.

Meanwhile, in Dublin, the increase in rents in the year to March 2017 was 13.9%. This is the second lowest number on record dating back to the beginning of the series in January 2006. Landlords are limited in the frequency they can increase rents. Indeed, there is evidence to suggest that rent increases for sitting tenants have been only half the size of increases faced by new tenants. "Therefore, the Rent Pressure Zones measure could be mixing things up - using rent trends paid by movers (market rents) to control rents paid by stayers (sitting rents)".

While the report says that the average rent in Laois is now €769 per month, a 16.6% increase in 12 months, the ceiling for a family of four for receipt of Rent Supplement or for the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) Scheme is just €610 per month.

Concluding on his comment Mr Lyons said "The appropriate solution remains to increase supply".