Housing crisis bites as Blanch students face desperate search

by Sylvia Pownall

The president of Technological University Dublin’s student union says students trying to rent a room in Blanchardstown remain at the mercy of the “critically under-supplied” market.

Responding to the latest Rental Report from property website Daft.ie, which shows monthly rents in Dublin have breached €2,000 for the first time, Pierre Yimbog claimed the situation was now at crisis point.

He said: “It’s having a negative impact on their [students’] studies, wellbeing and future. So far this year, we have seen no improvements in the accommodation crisis. No tangible solution has yet materialised.

“That means that this year’s record number of CAO applicants, as well as students progressing to their next year of study, will swap exam anxiety for the stress of a frantic search for accommodation – a basic need.”

There are currently 75,500 students living in Dublin, with just 14,000 bed spaces provided in purpose-built student and university accommodation.

Figures from Daft.ie’s quarterly rental report, published on Tuesday, show that on May 1 there were just 2,700 homes available to rent nationwide – the lowest number on record since 2006.

Blanchardstown – with a population greater than Limerick city, at 75,000 people – and 10 of the fastest-growing electoral districts in the country – has one of the highest ratios of rental properties nationwide, with demand pushing up prices.

New figures from Daft suggest that the average monthly cost of renting a home in Dublin is now €2,023, compared to €1,013 in Waterford.

In Blanchardstown, the average cost of renting a room is now €673 per month, with a one-bed studio commanding as much as €1,400 a month.

The capital had just 1,541 properties available to rent on August 1, up from 1,121 two years ago, but well below the average of 4,700 for the preceding decade.

Up to 25,000 new rental homes will be built by 2023, but for some, it can’t come fast enough.

Daft.ie spokeswoman Raychel O’Connell said: “Students, young professionals and families alike continue to have great difficulty in securing rental accommodation.

“With rents at a record high and availability at a record low, it is clear that supply is needed more than ever in the Irish property market.”

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