More than 2,850 student beds to open in Dublin this year

Some 6,180 student bed spaces under construction in capital, research shows

Some 6,180 student bed spaces are under construction in Dublin, with more than a third of those due to be delivered this year, research from commercial property firm Cushman & Wakefield shows.

In a market that has endured chronic under-supply in recent years, it is estimated that more than 2,850 student bed spaces will open this year.

At the moment, the purpose-built student accommodation market has 11,340 bed spaces, with more than 4,440 bed spaces having received planning permission. Another 3,385 are in the preplanning stage.

Emma Reardon, a senior analyst with Cushman & Wakefield, said there is a strong appetite from international and domestic investors seeking a foothold in the market, with "significant opportunities for development and investment" on offer.



Significant investors in the Irish market include Blackrock, the asset manager behind the Point Campus in Dublin 1. International developer Hines is also behind a scheme in Dublin 1 while Irish-listed Cairn Homes has received planning permission for a development in Stillorgan, Co Dublin.

Dublin’s student population totals almost 76,000, with just more than half of those originating from the city. Cushman & Wakefield, the commercial partner of Sherry FitzGerald in Ireland, found a four-to-one student-to-bed ratio when those Dublin-based students are excluded.

The four-to-one ratio, it says, reflects the “depth of the supply imbalance which is evident in the market today”.

The bulk of the existing student accommodation stock is provided by public institutes of higher education, which account for 64 per cent, with the remainder supplied by private providers. This is set to change, however, as the development pipeline shows 60 per cent of spaces being provided privately.

Dublin concentration

While development activity is primarily concentrated in Dublin, there is construction elsewhere. In Cork, 603 beds are being built while, in Galway, there are 429 bed spaces are under construction.

Across Cork, Galway, Limerick and Kildare, there are roughly 2,904 bed spaces that have been granted planning permission, with another 1,950 in the preplanning stage.

Peter Hamilton

Peter Hamilton

Peter Hamilton is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in business