Students stung with €4,000 rental bill in Dublin
Students can expect to fork out up to €4,000 a year in rent is some parts of Dublin, figures showed today.
Property website Daft.ie revealed rents remained static in July - at an average €823 per month - after falling three years in a row between 2007 to 2010.
Economist Ronan Lyons said has been is a strong relationship between the number of properties available on the market and trends in recent years.
"The total number of properties available to rent at any one time in Ireland's five major cities rose from 6,000 on May 1 to 8,000 at the start of August," he said.
"The increase was pronounced in Dublin and unsurprisingly, having risen strongly for six months, Dublin rents stabilised in the last quarter."
Figures show rents were unchanged in Dublin and Galway, but rose strongly in Cork over the last 12 months by an average of 4.7pc and dropped by 2pc in Waterford and Limerick.
Mr Lyons said the latest figures will make interesting reading for more than 55,000 Leaving Certificate students who will get their results on Wednesday.
Compared with 2008, students renting a two-bedroom property could expect to save over the course of the academic year €1,500 many parts of the country and up to €4,000 in some parts of Dublin.
The average cost for a double room in Dublin city centre is about twice the cost of renting in towns like Castlebar and Letterkenny.
Rachel Breslin, welfare officer at University College Dublin Students Union, said this year is financially challenging for students, who have suffered crippling cuts to the grant system and a €500 increase in the student contribution charge.
"Unlike previous years, as students face into a new academic term they will encounter a largely static rental market, rather than a falling one, with prices around some of the country's main educational institutions increasing," she said.
"From the release of Central Applications Office offers on August 22 onwards, tens of thousands of incoming students are expected to flood the rental market looking for accommodation for the year ahead."
The Union of Students in Ireland has already warned students to be aware of rogue landlords who target those leaving home for the first time. It also called on the Government to set up a deposit protection scheme to hold down-payments and solve disputes between tenants and landlords.
Ms Breslin said students have benefited in recent years from a 25pc decrease in rents since 2007, but this year face a market which appears to have plateaued somewhat.
"As with all prospective tenants, finding a suitable location is key," she added.
"Trying to balance lecture timetables and late hours in the library with a long commute is difficult, but combined with the benefits for incoming first-years of living with or near fellow students it becomes an even greater determining factor.
"Moving away from home and beginning college is a daunting experience for all concerned, but securing "a roof over their head" for the year at an affordable price makes the whole process a lot less intimidating."