Rent levels have smashed through Celtic Tiger figures to the highest on record, the latest property study shows.
The cost of renting in Ireland has soared so high, school-leavers face having to put off their college plans because of the lack of affordable rooms, experts say.
The just-published quarterly Daft.ie rental report shows average monthly rents nationwide now at €1,037 - up 10% on last year and the most expensive ever.
Between April and June this year, average rents jumped at their highest rate since the property-boom peak in 2007.
In Dublin, rents increased by more than 11% over the last year with the average property in the city costing €1,520 a month.
The figure is more than 5% higher than the previous high in early 2008.
But rents are rising fastest in Cork - up 18% in the last year. An average rental property in the city now costs €1,051 a month.
Rents are almost 14% higher in Galway; up 15.5% in Limerick; and in Waterford city, rents have jumped by more than 13%.
Ronan Lyons, report author and economist at Trinity College Dublin, warned would-be third level students might have to put off their studies because of the accommodation shortage.
"This isn't a happy picture for anyone renting in Ireland," he said.
"But the class of 2016 are really stuck between a rock and a hard place.
"They're low-income newcomers to the most competitive areas of the housing market because the colleges they're attending are mostly city-based.
"The majority can only afford to let for nine months instead of the standard 12 and don't have the stable earnings or references of a full-time professional."
Mr Lyons said many young people coming from outside urban areas, who did not live near a university and could not shoulder the costs of a long, pricey commute, would "have to defer their college courses this September".
There were just 3,600 homes to rent nationwide at the start of August - 1,000 fewer than on the same date last year.
In Dublin, there were just 1,100 properties available to rent.
Such is the crisis, the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) is sending letters to 100,000 homes nationwide pleading with owners to let spare rooms to students.
The union has launched a website, homes.usi.ie, for homeowners to advertise rooms to students.