Rents rose nationally last year by 2.2%, according to figures from property website

Daft says it was the first annual rise in rents for five years.

Rents rose strongly in urban areas, including Dublin, where they were up by almost 5%. Rents in Galway rose by 2.3% and by just under 2% in Cork.

However, rents fell by just over 1% outside of those areas.

Daft economist Ronan Lyons said the figures highlight the fact that much of the excess property from the boom is outside urban areas.

He said those seeking work were heading towards cities for employment opportunities, which was increasing demand for rental properties.