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Dublin: 11 °C Friday 6 December, 2019
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80% surveyed in student accommodation in Dublin city are international students paying average €250 a week rent

A new report commissioned by DCC looks into student accommodation in the capital.

File photo.
File photo.
Image: Same Boal/RollingNews.ie

JUST UNDER 80% of students living in privately-operated purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) in Dublin city centre are international students, a new survey has shown. 

The survey forms part of a wide report into student accommodation in Dublin commissioned by Dublin City Council and carried out by consultants EY, Coyne Research and DCC.

In total, 214 face-to-face interviews were conducted with residents of seven PBSA buildings in Dublin city centre. 

The centres in question were:

  • Dorset Point (D1)
  • The Tramshed (D1)
  • Beckett House (D1)
  • Kavanagh Court (D1)
  • Ardcairn House (D7)
  • Binary Hub (D8)
  • New Mill and The Tannery (D8)

A total of 79% of those surveyed were international students. 43% of students came from outside the EU. 

On average they had a rent of €250-a-week. Residents said they spent on average €64 weekly in the local area. 

Notably, 91% of respondents said that the availability of student accommodation did not have an impact on their choice of college/university.

Just under 100% (98%) of students surveyed had a room of their own, with the majority (62%) of residents sharing kitchen facilities with between one and four people. 

A minority (5%) spend more than €300 a week on accommodation. 

According to the report:

Stakeholders raised concerns that PBSA rent may be unsustainably high, however there are concerns that there is little scope for developers to compete on rents due to the fact that they face similar planning guidelines and construction costs.

Context 

The report was commissioned in September last year following requests from the South Central and Central Area Committees.

Read: ‘It simply won’t be affordable’: New student rooms in Dublin will cost a minimum of €249 a week

Private student accommodation has shot up across the city in recent years, as declining private rental stock and projected increases in student numbers have driven up demand.

A report from the Higher Education Authority published in September 2015 found that there was a serious deficit in accommodation for students in Ireland.

The report found that the number of students in full-time third level education was set to continue to rise throughout the decade. Numbers across Ireland were expected to grow from 168,000 in 2014 to 193,000 by 2024 (a rise of 25,000).

The HEA found that there was a deficit of about 25,000 student beds in 2014. This figure was also likely to increase as more and more people entered third level education.

The National Student Accommodation Strategy (NSAS), published in 2017, has a target of overall supply of 28,806 PBSA bed spaces in the Dublin area by 2024. 

In the Dublin area, there are currently 76,381 full-time students enrolled in HEA-aided third level institutions, with 53,000 students enrolled in the ten third level institutions (HEA-aided and private) within the canals of Dublin city.

There are about 6,364 student bed spaces within the canals of Dublin city centre at the moment, with this likely to grow to over 9,000 by 2020.

The PBSA in Dublin is mostly built and operated by large multinational corporations like Global Student Accommodation (GSA), Hines and others. 

The report 

According to the report, student accommodation had a positive impact on the communities in which it was built. 

It found that PBSA didn’t force out private residential development from vacant and underutilised sites in the city centre.

From a council briefing on the report:

A review of recent PBSA developments in Dublin City has found that these developments have resulted in benefits to the local environment including the renewal of vacant and underutilised sites, the restoration and reuse of historic buildings and increased pedestrian linkages.

The report also found economic benefits to local areas from PBSA. It calculated a spend of €24.3 million by residents in Dublin city during the academic year, and a further €1 million in tourist expenditure.  

The report will be presented this evening to Dublin city councillors at the monthly council meeting. 

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About the author:

Cormac Fitzgerald

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