Supply begins to catch up as specialist student accommodation investors enter sector
Knight Frank says there are 21 student accommodation projects in the pipeline which could supply 7,181 beds by 2019. Photograph: Alan Betson
It says the numbers of full-time students in Dublin has risen by 34 per cent over the past 10 years and that the market for student accommodation is now “structurally under-supplied”. The agency estimates that there are 10,442 student beds in operation in Dublin catering for just 13.2 per cent of the student population.
“In an international context this is extraordinarily low,” according to Knight Frank. “In London, 30 per cent of the full-time student population has access to purpose-built student accommodation. The shortage of bed spaces in Dublin is putting upward pressure on rents with new-build student accommodation expected to achieve average weekly rents of more than €230.”
However, supply is starting to catch up and specialist student accommodation investors, like GSA and Ziggurat, are starting to pile in to the sector.
In the pipeline
Knight Frank says there are 21 student accommodation projects in the pipeline which could supply 7,181 beds by 2019. Of these, 4,197 are under construction, 1,027 have planning permission and 1,957 are in the planning process.
“A number of significant schemes are nearing completion with 1,508 beds expected to be delivered by year-end.”
Despite the surge in supply, Knight Frank forecasts that the demand and supply dynamic in the sector is “likely to remain imbalanced for the foreseeable future”.
It also suggests that Brexit will increase student numbers in Ireland as UK-based education will become a less attractive option once Britain leaves the EU.
“Presently, EU citizens are entitled to study in EU member states, pay domestic fees and access student loans,” notes Knight Frank.
“However, when the UK leaves the EU in 2019, EU students attending third-level institutions in the UK would lose these privileges. The Brexit effect is already beginning to be felt with UK universities witnessing a 7 per cent decline in applications for EU students for the 2017/2018 academic year. There are almost 125,000 EU students in UK third-level institutions and, for EU students who wish to study in an English-speaking country in the EU, Ireland will be the only option.”