Private rents rose by 1% during the month of March, according to the latest inflation figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).
The latest increase follows a modest rise of 0.3% in the first two months of the year. Rents have been steadily increasing though with increases of 0.7% in December, 0.6% in November, 0.7% in October and 0.9% in September last year.
That means that rents are up around 3% year-on-year with fears that they may rise further following the introduction of the new property tax in July.
Since the start of 2011 there has been an 8.3% increase in rents and unfortunately the trend seems to be upwards for a while longer.
Housing, meanwhile, has stopped being the biggest driver of annual inflation, mostly because mortgage costs have been declining – by 7.0% in the past year, as ECB rate cuts and greater scrutiny of variable mortgage interest rates take effect. Just a few months ago, mortgage interest was rising by 20% per annum, and as mortgage interest costs account for over 5% of the basket which measures inflation, the impact on inflation was substantial.
Energy costs in homes on the other hand, which account for over 5% of the total basket examined by the CSO, have risen by 5.4% in the past 12 months, mostly driven by the 9% price hikes at the ESB, and in October 2012 at Bord Gais.