Saturday 10 December 2016

Rental crisis set to hit students hard as it spreads outside of capital

Published 18/08/2015 | 02:30

There has been a slight fall in rental inflation nationally, driven by trends in Dublin
There has been a slight fall in rental inflation nationally, driven by trends in Dublin
Economist Ronan Lyons

Students planning to live away from home are set to be hit hard as the rental crisis has spread far beyond Dublin.

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A lack of accommodation has seen rents surge by 9pc nationwide compared with a year ago, the latest Daft.ie rent report has found.

The national average rent is now €934, up €74 over the past 12 months. Some of the strongest rises are outside the capital.

And students are increasingly losing out to those in a job when a house or apartment comes up for rent, according to the president of UCD's Students' Union, Marcus O'Halloran.

Around one in five of the population rents, with thousands of students who have just been offered places in college and those returning to third level set to swell the ranks of those scrambling for somewhere to live.

There has been a slight fall in rental inflation nationally, driven by trends in Dublin.

But outside Dublin, rents are now rising faster than in the capital.

Strong rises were recorded in rents in Waterford, Limerick, Galway city and Cork.

And the survey found that the stock of properties to rent was very limited.

Just 4,600 properties were available to rent across the State. This compares with 6,800 last year.

Back in 2009, there were 23,000 properties to rent, according to Daft.ie economist and Trinity College Dublin lecturer Ronan Lyons.

In Waterford city, rents have risen by 8.2pc in the past year and the average is now €629.

In the rest of Waterford, rents were on average 6.6pc higher in the second quarter of 2015 than a year previously. The average advertised rent is now €624, up 10pc from their lowest point in 2013.

Dublin saw rent rises of 8.5pc, down from 15pc a year ago.

Dr Lyons said students were facing a rental squeeze.

Pricey

"As students prepare for entering higher education, or returning from their summer break, they will find conditions every bit as tight as a year ago in Dublin - and in some places in the country even tighter."

He said this reflected a continuing lack of construction at a time when the population was growing.

Mr O'Halloran of the UCD Students' Union said the lack of affordable bed spaces was hitting those from outside Dublin the hardest.

"They're generally not too familiar with the city market and if they're unsuccessful in finding somewhere to stay, they've a long and pricey commute ahead of them," he said.

He said rents had risen by 25pc in some places.

Irish Independent

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