Rents have reached an all-time high while the supply of accommodation continues to drop, as students from across the country scramble to find accommodation for the upcoming college year.
A quarterly report published by property website Daft.ie has found that rents across Ireland were at an all-time high for the fifth quarter in a row, while rent in Dublin continued to rise at a faster pace overall than elsewhere.
In Dublin, rents in the first half of the year rose by over 12%. Rent in the city is now 18% higher than its previous peak in 2008, the survey found.
There were only 1,121 properties available to rent in Dublin on August 1st, a decrease of over 20% in the amount of properties available to rent compared to this time last year. There were only 3000 properties available to rent across the country, the lowest the site has yet recorded.
In other Irish cities, the situation continued to worsen, although to a slightly lesser degree. Aside from Dublin, Limerick has been the worst affected, with a rent increase of 10.8% compared to this time last year, and rent in Galway has increased by 10%. While rent has increased in Cork, at 6.8% increase it stands as one of the least worsening cities for rental increases since this time last year.
Currently, average rent for a single bed in Dublin city centre is €632, which is an 8% increase on last year, while a double bed in the city centre has reached €724, an increase of 6.3%. By contrast, rent for a single bed in Galway city centre averages at €348, a double bed at €407, for example.
Meanwhile, a new report published by Union of Students in Ireland (USI) unearthed a number of unflattering figures concerning student accommodation. The report found that 1 in 5 college students face unexpected rent increases during the the college year, and 36% of students do not receive a receipt for the deposits they place on accommodation. The average deposit for accommodation to rent is approximately €400.
The introduction to the Daft.ie report was co-written by Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) President Kevin Keane and University College Dublin Students’ Union (UCDSU) President Katie Ascough, who warned that action needs to be taken to alleviate the situation immediately.
The city has seen a number of purpose-built accommodation for student begin construction recently, but Keane and Ascough state that this type of accommodation won’t alleviate pressure for the majority, as “on average in Dublin, students are spending €1,500 more in this type of housing than the average spend for what’s available in the general market”.
Speaking to Trinity News, Keane stated that relying on private development alone, “as the current government has essentially suggested we do”, is a “fool’s errand”. He continued: “We need an integrated, long term student focused plan to be put in place. Otherwise education in Dublin, and Trinity particularly, will become the reserve of Dublin based students and the very wealthy.”
Keane and Ascough point to the rent-a-room scheme commonly known as “digs” as a part of the solution, something they are promoting alongside Daft.ie. However, they say that if they don’t see a rise in take-up despite their efforts, “many young people relieved after their Leaving Cert results are going to have their spirits crushed. While available campus accommodation is generally allocated to incoming first years, it’s not adequate to house them all”.
These reports come as 52,000 students received their CAO offers on Monday, with more than 30,000 students having already accepted their college course. Speaking to this in a press statement, USI President Michael Kerrigan urged students who have received their place in college to start making arrangements for accommodation “right now before term starts to avoid disappointment”.