University College Dublin are planning to increase rents by 12% over the next three years. This translates to a 4% increase in accommodation license fee per year. So, how does this increase compare to the historic increases in price since 2006?
Using data from an archive of UCD’s residences website this article will show the historic trends of the price of on-campus accommodation. In 2006, a room in UCD’s cheapest on-site accommodation block, Merville, cost €3,544. On top of this base fee was a further €353 fees covering utilities and insurance. Fast forwarding to 2019, this base fee has increased by 88.57% to €6,683, a raw increase of €3,139. This increase can be averaged out to a 4.81% increase per year. During this period the average level of inflation was less than 1% per year.
If the proposed 4% increase is undertaken, then Roebuck Castle, currently the most expensive accommodation block, will reach €12,237 per academic year, assuming all other costs as a constant. Factoring in the additional cost of the €400 deposit then a single year’s rent in the “castle” will cost almost €13,000. This money could alternatively purchase 2,719 ciabattas from the Student Union Shop or run the University Observer for half an academic year. This would be a 70% increase on its price of €7,707 in 2010.
UCD President Andrew Deeks has explained the necessity of increasing the price of on-campus student accommodation in order to fund capital projects such as the erection of additional accommodation blocks which “will contribute to longer term rent stability and potential rent reductions, and that it is in the best interests of our community overall to proceed [with the proposed rental increases].”
UCD has the most expensive on-campus student residences in Ireland by a large margin. In second place is DCU, whose cheapest accommodation block costs €6,252, with some blocks ranging as far as €7,001. Trinity College Dublin’s cheapest on-campus accommodation comes in third, costing between €5,982 and €8,226.
Hugh Dooley – Reporter