No fall in student rents amid ongoing shortage of supply

Rents to be paid by students over the coming academic year are largely unchanged from a year ago, according to the Student Housing Report which was recently released.

In Dublin, the average cost of a room in a shared property is €680, up 0.3 percent on the same time last year, while in other parts of the country, room rents are €462, up 2.8 percent on average year-on-year.

Nationally, rents for full properties rose by 1.2 percent in the year to July but were largely unchanged in Dublin city, rising by just 0.2 percent.The report also analyses the purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA ) sector. It estimates current demand for PBSA units, using information on full-time enrolment levels by students’ home county and country.

Across the four major cities, Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Galway, there is an estimated need for over 50,000 student homes. Despite recent additions to supply, mainly in Dublin, the existing capacity of PBSA units is less than 33,000.

Further, because of a large increase in the college-going age cohort, as well as further increases in enrolment rates and international student numbers, estimated demand for PBSA units is projected to increase to 64,000 over the coming decade.

“For students preparing for the 2020/21 academic year, there is little evidence of any Covid-19 effect on rents. Indeed, in most market segments of interest to students, rents may if anything be slightly higher than last year.

“Given large increases in rents in recent years, a year with largely unchanged rents is perhaps not the worst outcome for students. Substantial growth in student numbers over the coming decade, largely driven by a natural increase in the college-age cohort, means that the country needs significant construction of purpose-built student accommodation. Recent building has been concentrated in Dublin but the shortfall, of between 20,000 and 25,000 units, is spread around the major cities,” Ronan Lyons, report author and economist at Trinity College Dublin, remarked.


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