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European student housing sees smallest YoY price increase since 2021

Rent prices across most of Europe experienced a “consecutive slowdown in price increases” in 2023’s Q4, according to HousingAnywhere.

Lisbon, which had the highest prices in 2023 Q2, dropped to eighth position in Q4. Photo: Pexels

Seelman noted that rent prices are still generally too high

The organisation’s international rent index for the final quarter of last year reported a year-on-year price increase of 5.8% – while still an increase, it was the lowest of the financial year – and the lowest since 2021.

“The results… can spark some hope regarding housing affordability, as the year-on-year rent-price increase is the lowest registered in the past two years,” Djordy Seelman, CEO of HousingAnywhere, told The PIE.

Even more encouraging is that one of the most notoriously expensive cities in Europe to find accommodation, Amsterdam, has seen a year-on-year price decrease.

The absolute rental price for an apartment in the city went from €2,300 in Q4 2022 to €2,200 in Q4 last year.

Despite the encouraging overall figures, Seelman noted that rent prices are still generally too high.

“The most attractive European cities are still facing major housing shortages, leading to rent prices that are still far from affordable.

“Only by tackling the supply shortage and ensuring that new housing developments keep pace with growing demand will we be able to work towards a long-term solution for housing affordability,” Seelman continued.

Amsterdam’s pricing for apartments is still the highest in Europe, with Rome’s absolute price for an apartment clocking in at €2,000 a month in Q4 of 2023, with Milan not far behind at €1,850.

Italian cities are seeing some of the highest prices in Europe for apartments, with both cities climbing up the ranking in Q4 to second and third respectively.

Rome is also one of the biggest surprises in terms of its year on year price increase in the rooms category, with prices up by 11.3% since Q4 of 2022.

In Germany, Cologne and Munich are in second and third place respectively in terms of highest monthly room prices, at €850.

Munich, meanwhile, had the most expensive studio prices in 2023 Q4, with €1,570 – Hamburg came third in the ranking at €1,418.

Amsterdam did remain the most expensive city for rooms, with an absolute price of €940 a month.

Seelman said that Portuguese data seemed to be most interesting, especially when comparing with 2023 Q2.

“Lisbon registered the highest absolute rent price for apartments [in Q2]. In the last quarter of the year, the city has fallen into the eighth position of the ranking,” he noted.

“Only by tackling the supply shortage… will we be able to work towards a long-term solution”

“Lisbon and Porto have experienced price swings through 2023, while the country consistently gained popularity among international students and young professionals.”

While Lisbon’s prices on apartments have seen such swings, its room prices have increased by 14% YoY – something that, HousingAnywhere said, showed how cities are “catching up with prices” through the “pan-European rental housing crisis”.

Most astonishing was its YoY increase in studio prices. Just shy of Valencia’s 48.8% increase in 2023’s Q4, Lisbon’s studio prices grew by 37.5%.

“Portugal consistently gained popularity among international students and young professionals”

That pan-European rental housing crisis, Seelman urged, is something that needed to be addressed by policymakers more directly.

“Incentives to ensure a pipeline of new residential builds, as well as to convert vacant spaces into new residential living concepts, including new ways of living such as co-living, are the way to go.

“[Ensuring] that property owners keep their vacant properties in the long-term residential rental sector can also help prevent the available supply from further shrinking,” Seelman pointed out.

He also urged that accessibility was key. With the growing trend of students living further away from the centre of cities to find affordable housing, “ensuring that different neighbourhoods in a city are well connected through infrastructure can help release tension” in higher demand neighbourhoods.

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