Property website Daft.ie revealed that rents in Cork city have risen an average of 4.7% in the past 12 months, while those in Waterford and Limerick cities have dropped 2%.
In Dublin and Galway, rents have remained unchanged while the rest of the country has seen rents go down by an average of 2.6%.
With Leaving Certificate results out tomorrow, the latest figures will make interesting reading for new and returning college students.
Having fallen for three years in a row between 2007 and 2010, rents are on average unchanged compared to a year ago.
Compared with 2008, students renting a two-bedroom property could expect to save over the course of the academic year €1,500 in many parts of the country and up to €4,000 in some parts of Dublin.
Commenting on the figures, economist Ronan Lyons said there is astrong relationship between the number of properties available on the market and trends in the past few years.
“The total number of properties available to rent at any one time in Ireland’s five major cities rose from 6,000 on May 1 to 8,000 at the start of August,” said Mr Lyons.
“The increase was pronounced in Dublin and unsurprisingly, having risen strongly for six months, Dublin rents stabilised in the last quarter,” he added.
Welfare officer at University College Dublin Students’ Union Rachel Breslin said students are likely to face a tough year financially after cuts to the grant system and a €500 increase in the student contribution charge.
“Unlike previous years, as students face into a new academic term they will encounter a largely static rental market, rather than a falling one, with prices around some of the country’s main educational institutions increasing,” said Ms Breslin.
“From the release of Central Applications Office offers on August 22 onwards, tens of thousands of incoming students are expected to flood the rental market looking for accommodation for the year ahead,” she said.
The Union of Students in Ireland has warned students to be aware of rogue landlords who target those leaving home for the first time.
It also called on the Government to set up a deposit protection scheme to hold down-payments and solve disputes between tenants and landlords.