Student Crisis in the Housing Market

Katie Ascough, UCD Student Union President Kevin Keane, TCD Student Union President

22nd Aug 2017

Katie Ascough UCD Student Union President & Kevin Keane TCD Student Union President, commenting on the latest Daft.ie research on the Irish property market

Right now, the Leaving Cert class of 2017 are poised to join the chronically undersupplied Irish housing market. Following CAO offers for college and university, the lion's share of that group will be seeking accommodation in one of the worst pressure points of the current market before the start of September. A cursory glance at the available data shows the challenge awaiting them.There are now fewer than 3,000 properties to rent nationwide.This is the lowest figure on record for the country. In Dublin there were just 1,121 properties available to rent on August 1st. That's over 20% less than were available on the same date in 2016.

Graphic showing most & least expensive places to rent

The most important knock-on effect from this undersupply is, of course, a rise in cost. Rents are now 13% higher than their 2008 peak. In Dublin, where the lion's share of new third level students will be looking, rents are now 18% higher than their previous peak. The average property in the capital now costs €1,741 a month to rent. That's one and a half times the current average rent nationwide, €1,159. This isn't a happy picture for anyone in the rental market. But the class of 2017 are largely low-income newcomers in the most competitive areas of the housing market. The majority can only afford to let for 9 months instead of the standard 12 and don't have stable earnings or prior references. In the private rental sector right now, it's unlikely they'll get a viewing, let alone a lease. The situation is so bad that if it's to be even partially resolved before September, it requires major collective action from a range of stakeholders. As an example of what that kind of initiative could look like, Students' Unions from Trinity College Dublin & University College Dublin have started working together with Daft.ie to put more affordable, student specific beds on the market.

Graphic showing percentage increases in rent

We've collaborated with homeowners and students to promote the Irish rent-a-room scheme more commonly known as "digs". Under the existing legislation, Irish homeowners can earn up to a yearly sum of €14,000 in non-taxable income from their spare rooms. But take up remains low because of negative stereotypes on both sides and a complete lack of profile. So, for the last few weeks, UCDSU and TCDSU have canvassed local homeowners and students of their respective institutions for positive testimonials of living in digs. If this scheme doesn't see a rise in take-up despite these efforts, many young people relieved after their Leaving Cert results are going to have their spirits crushed. While available campus accommodation is generally allocated to incoming first years, it's not adequate to house them all. Countrywide funding cuts to colleges and universities have slowed down badly needed development of their student residences and will continue to hinder it until they are reversed.

Room rental pricing trends

Even the recent increase in purpose built student accommodation by private developers won't alleviate pressure for the majority - as, on average in Dublin, students are spending €1,500 more in this type of housing than the average spend for what's available in the general market. In this context, college authorities, students unions and Government need to promote college digs as a priority over the next few weeks to make sure Irish homeowners are informed of how they can contribute to solving this crisis and the cash flow gains to be made. Otherwise many young people coming from outside urban areas - who don't live near a university and can't shoulder the costs of a long, pricey commute - will have to defer their college courses this September.

Discuss This Article

  • Re: Irish Rental Price Price Report Q2 2017 | Daft.ie

    Posted By: Sean Date: Tuesday August 22, 2017 @11:23PM

    Even looking outside the city centre on enquiry to top that IRES letting agent are asking for double and triple deposit.. Disgraceful! How can students or parents be expected to pay this. And what is the average wage? If rent is a third of your salary... How many take home over 3k per month or 50k a year? The government needs to act.. Why are there boarded up or abandoned properties,

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  • Re: Irish Rental Price Price Report Q2 2017 | Daft.ie

    Posted By: Anonymous Poster Date: Wednesday August 23, 2017 @11:17AM

    Double and triple deposit is needed due to people not looking after the property. Whilst the majority do a minority don't. You can't discriminate against social welfare recipients so up the deposit and keep the wasters away.

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  • Re: Irish Rental Price Price Report Q2 2017 | Daft.ie

    Posted By: Patrick Date: Wednesday August 23, 2017 @01:04AM

    Thanks for the work on compiling this report. I am an incoming post-graduate student to UCD, and while I have found many decent options for a single student, the options for a couple are nearly non-existent. My partner and I have experienced a great deal of preference to not have couples (even in double rooms) and so are left searching for private rentals at much higher rates. I'd encourage more digs and shares to be receptive to mature couples - we are a more rare letting, but not to be forgotten as needing specific accommodation as well.

    Thanks again for the report.

    Patrick

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  • Re: Irish Rental Price Price Report Q2 2017 | Daft.ie

    Posted By: Anonymous Poster Date: Thursday August 24, 2017 @09:32AM

    Rents will rise and rise yet those who could have bought in 2012 for peanuts are still renting. Is it their fault? Are they short sighted? Do they have the right to complain? How many over 50's are still renting. After a lifetime, which pre dated the boom and bust, they still rent and then rely on welfare in retirement. Do people really expect the state to provide them a decent home whilst other pay for it? I don't think the market is damaged. I think attitude's towards self reliance need to change in many sections of Irish society.

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  • Re: Irish Rental Price Price Report Q2 2017 | Daft.ie

    Posted By: Anonymous Poster Date: Thursday August 24, 2017 @12:49PM

    I absolutely agree with you. Why are people who rent always moaning? They expect someone to fix their problems all the time. Go and buy a house, save for your deposit, instead of dining out and buying cars. There are still plenty of cheap houses around commuter belts(Drogheda) for example, but the are relying on the state.

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  • Re: Irish Rental Price Price Report Q2 2017 | Daft.ie

    Posted By: Ross McCormack Date: Thursday August 24, 2017 @12:32PM

    Great report, however have one comment about your figures:

    In slide 10 - The table composition of monthly rents across Ireland are broken down between 1 bed apartment and 2,3,4,5 Bed House. Should you not rather break it out between apartment 1,2,3,4 and then by 2,3,4,5 house. You are not really comparing like for like in the tables in the attribute of the property is not.

    Did you use the attributes (House or apartment ) as a controls for you Hedonic price regression? Could you please clarify?

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  • Re: Irish Rental Price Price Report Q2 2017 | Daft.ie

    Posted By: Cllr. Nick Killian Date: Friday August 25, 2017 @10:01AM

    Thank you for this report and indeed your efforts to highligt the ever increasing cost of rent. It's fairly obvious at this stage that Government, senior officials at The DOE and at local authority have not got the capacity to deal with this housing disaster. It needs a Michael O'Leary type to sort out the Social Housing and take away from local officials.

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  • Re: Irish Rental Price Price Report Q2 2017 | Daft.ie

    Posted By: Sam Date: Friday August 25, 2017 @10:09AM

    Rent in Maynooth is higher than all the cities except Dublin. It's ridiculous, the demand far outweighs the supply and the landlords are exploiting that

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  • Re: Irish Rental Price Price Report Q2 2017 | Daft.ie

    Posted By: Anonymous Poster Date: Wednesday August 30, 2017 @10:32AM

    People are happy to pay1300 eur a month rent, but they can't go and buy a house and pay a mortgage of 650 or 700. Keep renting!!!

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  • Re: Irish Rental Price Price Report Q2 2017 | Daft.ie

    Posted By: Anonymous Poster Date: Tuesday September 5, 2017 @01:39PM

    Rent is actually very cheap. You can't expect to live in a desirable area in the lap of luxury whilst on benefits or in low paid work. The world does not work that way. The crash created a temporary blip where top notch property was incredibly cheap to rent. It was never going to last.

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