Fewer properties available for students to rent

Students are not spoilt for choice in the property rental market this autumn because of a tightening of available accommodation, it has emerged.

According to the latest Daft Rental Report, it is the third summer in a row where there were fewer properties available to rent at any one time.

The report shows that rents nationally were 0.5% lower in the second quarter of this year than a year previously.

Between April and June, the average advertised rent in the country was €809 per month, compared to €814 during the same period in 2011.

However, the last 12 months have seen rents rise in Ireland’s major cities but continue to fall elsewhere.

Rents in Dublin are 2% higher than a year previously, while rents in Cork are up 1.7%. In Galway rents are up marginally at 0.2%, while in Limerick they are 0.9% below what they were a year ago and in Waterford, rents have fallen by 4.5%.

With CAO points out this week, the rental accommodation market will be of keen interest to new and returning students seeking accommodation.

Between 2007 and 2010, rents fell steadily but have changed very little since.

Latest statistics from Daft show that the areas close to third-level institutions in Dublin and Galway increased slightly.

There has been no change in rent costs near UCC while students in Tralee, Co Kerry, Waterford and Dundalk, Co Louth, can expect savings of between 4% and 6% on average.

The average monthly rent for a double room near two city centre colleges in Dublin is €499, a 1.6% increase; Galway City at €338 is up 2.4% and Sligo town at €264 is up 3.5%.

The average monthly rent for a double room at €254 for Waterford is the greatest year-on-year decrease at 5.9%, followed by Dundalk where it is €285, a drop of 4.7%. In Tralee the average rent is €251, a drop of 3.8%

President of the Union of Students in Ireland (USI), John Logue, said rents were still down 25% from their 2007 peak so current students were at a significant advantage compared to their boom-time peers.

“Savings in rents provide a rare comfort to families that are faced with ever increasing costs,” he said.

Economist and author of the Daft report, Ronan Lyons, said that with fewer properties available to rent, particularly in Dublin, some prospective tenants might find that they have to live out further than expected.

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