The rate of inflation in rental prices eased for the first time in over five years at the end of 2014.

According to a report from property website, year-on-year inflation in rents slowed to 9.7% in the final three months of the year.

That was down from an annualised rate of 10.8% in the second and third quarters of the year.

The trend was driven by a moderation in rental inflation in the capital, which eased from 16.5% in April last year to below 10% by the start of this year.

The commuter counties surrounding Dublin experienced greater rental growth in the period.

In the four main commuter counties, rents were 14% higher in late 2014 than the same period a year previously.

The author of the report, Trinity economist Ronan Lyons, said the slowdown in inflation in Dublin could be explained by a lack of availability, which is driving renters into the commuter belt.

In the other city centres, rents continue to rise but at a slightly slower pace.

In Cork city, rents are 7.3% higher than last year.

They are 7% higher in Galway, Limerick has seen a 6.2% rise while in Waterford city rental inflation was at 5.1% in the final three months of 2014.

For more information on spiralling rents you can watch this interactive video by RTÉs Aisling Kenny.