Regional cities now outstrip the capital for rent hikes

Rents have risen by almost 7pc in the past year, driven by soaring costs in some regional cities, a new report has shown.

While Dublin is cooling, areas such as Cork, Waterford and Galway experienced big rises.

It means that students choosing regional universities to avoid Dublin’s high rent costs are running out of options as other cities are now comparable to the capital.

According to the latest quarterly rental report by Daft.ie, the overall figures show the lowest rate of rental inflation across the country since the end of 2013.

The slowdown in rental inflation is driven by Dublin, where annual inflation has fallen from a high of 13.4pc in mid-2018 to 4.5pc today.

There has been a cooling in inflation in the other major cities. However, the level of inflation is still higher than in Dublin.

In Cork, rents are 7.9pc higher than a year ago, while in Galway city rents are 9.1pc higher.

In Limerick, rents have increased by 10.5pc in a year, similar to the increase seen in Waterford city at 10pc.

Limits

Ronan Lyons, economist at Trinity College Dublin and author of the report, said: “The slowdown in rental inflation will be welcome news to tenants and policymakers, among others.

“It is more likely driven by limits to affordability than improved supply, however.”

Turning to the situation facing students, he warned the problem of affordable accommodation was widespread.

“Students are now making college course choices thinking about the rental market, which is not what we like to see,” he added.

The average cost of rent in Cork city, where UCC is located, is €1,366 a month, an increase of 7.9pc from last year.

An investigation by the Irish Independent earlier this month showed that the cost of university-provided accommodation in Cork has increased by 11.5pc for the coming academic year.

According to the Daft.ie report, the average cost for a single bedroom in Cork city centre is now €469 per month.

This is close to the average rent for a single bedroom in west Co Dublin, at €504.

“In Ulster, Connacht and Munster, there is an imbalance between supply and demand,” Mr Lyons added.

According to Mr Lyons, Galway is “a traditional rental market which is dominated by students, probably more so than anywhere else in Ireland”.

Rent increases here are the highest in all of Connacht and Ulster, with prices of renting in Co Galway up by 15.5pc.

The cost of a single bedroom in the city centre is €440 a month, a 5.8pc increase from last year.

With the incoming academic year mere weeks away, CAO offers for college courses were released last week.

Now knowing which course they will be studying come September, students are running out of time to secure accommodation.

Scramble

“Rents are higher for students in Galway and Cork, but this year, there is a bit less of a scramble [to find a place to live] even though rents are higher,” added Mr Lyons.

“Students entering university would have prepared in April or March and returning students would have sorted accommodation already.”

The increase in rents overall in Dublin stands at 4.5pc in comparison to last year, the lowest increase since 2012.

The average cost of the price of rent is now €2,023 in the capital.

“With the Dublin market, things have changed with the private purpose-built student accommodation,” said Mr Lyons.

“While it’s not cheap, it has matched some of the demand.

“In the Dublin market, there were just 1,541 properties available to rent on August 1.”

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