Rents rose nationally last year by 2.2%, according to figures from property website Daft said that this is the first annual rise in rents for five years.

The average rent nationwide in the final quarter of 2012 was €808, compared to €790 in late 2011.

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.

Daft said that average rents in Dublin stood at €1,089, while they stood at €797 in Cork and €780 in Galway.

But outside of those cities rents fell by just over 1%. In Limerick, average rents stood at €638, down 1.1% while they were €597 in Waterford, 2.8% lower than the previous year.

In a statement alongside the report, 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 increasingly those seeking work were heading towards cities for employment opportunities which was increasing demand for rental properties.

“While much of the country is still dealing with a glut of properties from the bubble, it is increasingly evident that there is a shortage of rental properties on the market in urban areas, and in particular Dublin,'' Mr Lyons said.

''This may be alleviated temporarily by stock currently held in NAMA coming on to the market, but ultimately Ireland’s major cities will need to prevent future inflation in rents by planning for new construction,'' he added.