The average rent nationally is up 2.7% from this time last year and has risen for three consecutive quarters for the first time since 2007, according to the latest quarterly report by property website

The average rent nationwide now stands at €815, compared to €794 a year ago.

The Rental Report says rental prices in Dublin have risen by 5% since last year, compared with a 0.2% increase outside of the capital.

The number of properties available to rent in Dublin has continued to fall, with fewer than 11,000 available for rent in April, down almost one third in a year.

In Cork and Galway, rents rose year-on-year by 1.8% and 2.8% respectively, but fell in Limerick by 0.7% and in Waterford by 3%.

Rents rose in commuter counties by an average of 1.4%, but fell elsewhere, typically by between 1% and 2% compared to a year ago.

Economist with Ronan Lyons said: "The gap between urban and rural property markets is growing wider.

"Over the last two years, rents have risen steadily in Dublin and are now, for example, 10% higher in south Co Dublin than in late 2010.

He said that with the average monthly rent up €77, this translates to almost €1,000 extra over the course of the year.