Rents rise to pre-crash levels fuelling fears of student crisis

Q2 has had the largest rent rise since 2007. Picture: Photocall

Rents have soared to Celtic Tiger-era levels fuelling fears of a college student accommodation crisis.

New figures show rents rose nationwide by an average of 3.9% in the second quarter of 2016 — the largest three-month increase in rents since early 2007.

The latest quarterly Rental Report by Daft.ie, shows the average monthly rent for the quarter was €1,037 — the highest level on record — with 1,000 fewer properties listed for rent than the same time last year.

For the fourth quarter in a row, the highest rate of inflation country-wide was in Cork City, where rents rose by 18% in 12 months.

In Dublin, the annual rate of rent inflation to June was 11.1%, its highest since late 2014. Rents in the capital are now 5.2% higher than their previous peak in early 2008.

Rents in Galway are 13.9% higher than a year ago, while rents in Limerick have risen 15.5% in the last year.

In Waterford City, rents have risen by 13.3% in 12 months, while outside the major cities, the increase has been 9.7%.

The spike in rents comes as the number of children homeless in Dublin surpassed 2,000. last month. Fr Peter McVerry of the Peter McVerry Trust described the homeless figures as “shocking”.

TCD economist Ronan Lyons, author of the Daft Report, said it also highlights the severe shortage of accommodation for students.

“While a large number of purpose-built student apartments are either being built or are planned, these will take time to come on stream and will only cater for those on higher incomes,” he said.

“The majority of students will face tough choices about where to study and where to live.”

Conor Viscardi, the president of UCD students’ union, and Kieran McNulty, the president of TCD’s students’ union, said the figures make for grim reading for anyone renting in Ireland, but especially for students trying to secure accommodation.

Rents rise to pre-crash levels fuelling fears of student crisis

They both called on home- owners to consider letting out vacant rooms as digs. The rental income on student digs is exempt from tax as long as it does not exceed €12,000 in a tax year.

Business group Ibec, has criticised proposals in the draft Dublin City development plan to revise downwards from 28-metres to 24-metres the height of ‘low-rise’ inner city residential developments, and proposals for a new maximum height of 13m for ‘low-rise’ residential complexes in the suburbs.

If adopted, the new height restrictions would weaken the capital’s ability to respond to the housing crisis.


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