Dublin charges fifth highest rents in Europe, study finds

Students have raised issues with high price of rent

Dublin has become one of the top five most expensive cities for rental accommodation in Europe, overtaking Paris for the first time. The Irish capital ranks fifth after London, Moscow, Zurich and Geneva, according to a new survey.

Research from global mobility expert, ECA International, found that the average rental price for an unfurnished, mid-range, three-bedroom apartment in Dublin has risen to €3,406 a month, with an average rent price of €3,324 a month for Paris.

“The past 10 years have seen a significant turnaround in the fortunes of Dublin’s residential rental market,” said Alec Smith, Accommodation Services Manager at ECA International.

“The global financial crisis exposed a property bubble in the Irish capital and rents have increased significantly with each subsequent year of recovery,” he continued.

Smith asserted that the rent costs have been impacted by “international companies relocating staff while looking to take advantage of Ireland’s low corporate tax rate”.

The latest hike for Dublin means that in addition to being the fifth most expensive city in Europe for rental accommodation, it is now the 26th most expensive across the world, jumping 35 places. ECA said that rental costs across Europe rose significantly last year, partly due to the strength of the euro.

While Dublin saw the biggest increase in expatriate rental costs in Europe, major cities such as Madrid, Rome, Paris and Barcelona all saw increases over €120 a month. Hong Kong remains the most expensive location in the world for expatriate rent, with typical expat accommodation averaging $10,929 a month, increasing by 4.9% from last year.

New York remains the second most expensive city in the world for overseas workers to rent in. However, rental costs have dropped by over $250 since last year, as demand dropped slightly.

In October, 3,000 students from across the country fought for affordable student accommodation in a housing crisis march in Dublin. Trinity students were among those who took to the streets for the Raise the Roof march, followed by a rally at Leinster House.

Students’ Unions across the country demanded that the government take action against an escalating housing crisis which leaves students “priced out” of housing and education.

TCDSU President Shane De Rís cited long commuting distances, couch-surfing, and stays in emergency accommodation as several challenges students are facing in the current housing climate. “Each day, we witness the violence of the homelessness crisis around our university as we pass those sleeping rough,” he said. “This isn’t good enough, and we should expect better from our modern society.”

Speaking to Trinity News at the march, USI President Síona Cahill stated: “The government needs to invest and act on this housing crisis, one that affects students, families and communities.”

Cahill outlined the difficulties faced by students as the housing crisis worsens: “Lack of rent caps for purpose-built student accommodation is causing 27%+ increases in rent overnight in some places; there’s little deposit protection; there are increasing scams on international students; damp or overcrowded conditions; students paying night after night in hostels because there is a lack of rooms; couch-surfing or sleeping in their cars.”

Accommodation has been a predominant issue for students in the past year. Following a 27% rent increase at Shanowen Square student accommodation complex, DCU students held a series of protests, including a demonstration outside the Dáil in April 2018 . Similarly, NUIG Students’ Union filed a case earlier this year through the Residential Tenancies Board following 18% rent increases from student accommodation provider Cúirt na Coiribe, which was unsuccessful.

The official homeless count for Ireland is estimated at around 10,000. However, housing activists suggest that the actual rate is much higher as the official count does not include those who are sleeping on streets, in cars, tents, or on couches.

Lorna Aylward

Lorna Aylward is a staff writer for Trinity News. She is a Senior Fresh Law student.