A new report indicates that housing supply in Ireland was at its lowest point on record at the beginning of this month.

The study, from Daft.ie also suggests rents nationwide rose by an average of 9% last year.  

There were just 3,600 properties available to rent nationwide at the beginning of February, the lowest point on record. 

That compares to over 5,200 a year ago and almost 16,000 five years ago. 

Daft.ie said Dublin has been effectively starved of rental properties, with less than two weeks supply, or just 1,400 rental homes, on the market in the capital at the beginning of February. 

Meanwhile, the report also shows that the national average rent between October and December last year was €979, up from €898 the previous year. 

The rental pressure has also spread outside Dublin. Rents were 15.4% higher than a year ago in Cork city and 13.3% higher in Galway city. 

Economist for Daft Ronan Lyons said it is incumbent on the next government to listen to the National Competitiveness Council, which will be benchmarking construction costs and come up with an action plan.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Mr Lyons said housing supply is the worst on record for the past 10 years and that we are in "unchartered territory".

He said we need to look at how expensive is it to build relative to our own incomes.