Ireland: Luxury student housing 'flooding' market even though few can afford
A tale of two cities. Source: Shutterstock

In Ireland, the student housing sector tells the tale of two very different worlds.

News reports show one side promoting opulent digs complete with bowling alleys, gyms and cinemas, harbouring a hefty price tag of €410 a week. At the other end of the spectrum, students are reportedly falling victim to the meteoric rises in rent. reported data that reveals the huge cost of private student rentals across the country. It shows an increase of 18.5 percent in the rates of private rentals in Waterford while in Dublin, the surge is between 10 to almost 15 percent.

Trinity Students’ Union President, Shane De Rís, said students will soon be forced out of education.

“It is tragic that yet again we’ll see students forced out of education due to the financial strain placed on them by the housing market, forced to delay their future due to Government inaction,” he said.

At the same time, activists claim that developers are flooding Dublin’s housing market with luxury student accommodation, featuring OTT fixtures like gyms, rain-head showers and floor-to-ceiling windows.

At the New Mill student residence on Dublin’s Mill Street – a 700-room purpose-built student residences owned by Global Student Accommodation (GSA) – a deluxe one-room studio apartment goes for €1,640 for a four-week month.

Vice President of Education and Placement for the Dublin City University Craig McHugh said such complexes – including New Mill, Broadstone Hall in Phibsborough and Kavanagh Court in the north inner city – are more like luxury hotels than student housing.

The price tags of such places are out of reach for domestic students – it would take more than 70 percent of the wages earned in a 40-hour week on minimum wage.

“Student accommodation should have a good standard but you don’t need luxury gyms. This is aimed at rich parents,” he told the Irish Independent.

“It’s pushing market prices up even further,” he adds.

GSA Ireland Development Director, Aaron Bailey, justified the prices by citing the “strict specifications” imposed by Dublin City Council, saying “it could be seen as luxury compared to an inflatable mattress in a bedsit”.

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