Wednesday 20 February 2019

Crisis sees student rents rise to over €500 a month in city

Photo: Stock
Photo: Stock

Rising Dublin rent costs are forcing increasing numbers of out-of-town students to endure ever-longer commutes to attend college in the capital.

Students are doing daily round-trips from places such as Tipperary and Monaghan, because it is cheaper than renting in the city.

Students from rural Ireland are also avoiding rising Dublin rents by opting for the more affordable home-from-home, 'digs' arrangement.

Average student rents in Dublin are expected to climb to €541 a month from September - up 6.5pc, from €508 a month, on the year just finished.

This is what students are paying, on average, for a room in a traditional house-share, which works out at about €5,000 for the nine-month academic year.

However, it is a lot less than rents of €9,000 a year, and more, being sought in purpose-built student residences, more of which are popping up around the city.

The new dedicated student blocks provide a welcome increase in supply, but prices are out of reach for typical Irish undergraduates, and are more likely to appeal to international students with grants to cover accommodation.

The average monthly rent figures have been compiled by Dublin Institute of Technology's (DIT) Campus Life office, as part of its annual survey of student living costs, the full details of which will be published next month.

DIT keeps a close eye on rental costs because, unlike the universities and pending the construction of its Grangegorman campus, it does not have any of its own student accommodation.


The survey also looks at other student cities and towns, and the picture for national rents for 2018/19 is stable, with an average of €430 a month, compared with €427 last year.

While student rents in Dublin are up 6.5pc, this is still behind the typical increase of about 10pc in rent prices generally in the capital over the past year.

Dr Brian Gormley, head of Campus Life, said the projected average monthly accommodation cost for the 2018/19 period had not increased as much as they had expected, and there were a number of factors at play.

Where students are in private rented accommodation, they were now "more willing to share rooms than previously to keep down the cost of accommodation".

However, he said it was also clear that more students were commuting, which was reducing the demand for student accommodation.

"Students are telling us that it is more cost-effective to commute, even long distances, than pay high rent prices," he said.

Internal DIT surveys have shown the number of students living at home with their parents has increased by 6pc in the past three years.

Heat has also been taken out of the rental market by the growing popularity of home-stay arrangements - traditionally known as digs.

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