A new report has highlighted the chronic shortage of student housing in Dublin and other cities, while accusing the Government of “negligent inaction” on the issue.
The study by property website Daft.ie suggests there were just 1,400 properties available to rent in Dublin at the beginning of August with a student population for the greater Dublin area of more than 80,000.
The report also found average rents in the capital were now above €1,900 a month, well beyond the means of typical students. Dublin rents were 13.4 per cent or €229 a month higher than they were just a year ago and €500 higher than at the height of the boom.
It comes as Leaving Cert students assess their CAO option next week and begin the accommodation search.
The rapid acceleration was not confined to Dublin. In Limerick city, average rents were 20.7 per cent higher than a year ago, while in Waterford, the increase was 19.3 per cent. Galway saw its rents increase by 15.9 per cent in the same period, while in Cork, rents rose by 12.8 per cent.
Overall there were just 3,070 properties available to rent nationwide at the start of August, the group’s latest quarterly rental report said. While this was a 4.8 per cent increase on the same period last year, it was the second-lowest level recorded since the series began in 2006.
Long daily commutes
The report suggested the lack of affordable accommodation had left students competing with young professionals and families or forced into long daily commutes, in some cases up to three hours one way.
"There has been negligent inaction in alleviating the strains on the student housing market," Trinity College Dublin economist and author of the Daft report Ronan Lyons said.
“The Government’s strategy for student housing leaves a lot to be desired, relying solely on the private sector to bulk out the number of in purpose-built student accommodation,” he said.
“The reality is that these privately-owned developments are priced way beyond the means of the vast majority of students with weekly rates in excess of €230,”he said.
Dr Lyons said the luxurious student complexes that had sprung up in Dublin and elsewhere in the last few years are attractive not to the student from a middle-income family but to international students.
“The time has come for tangible and comprehensive action on this front,” he said.