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Rents surge as students struggle to find accommodation

An apparent lack of one-bedroom apartments has driven rentals for such properties to new heights while increasing annual costs for students who study in the country’s universities.

Estate agents indicate that for furnished apartments near universities go for €500-€600 per month while unfurnished apartments further afield are €300-€400 per month.

Parents of foreign students studying at private universities are especially frustrated considering that they had been informed that accommodation was relatively easy to find.

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Property consultants believe the increase in rents will result in a new real estate bubble.

It also seems that realtors have been instructed by businessmen, who do not necessarily deal with real estate, to purchase apartments on their behalf as they consider them a new form of investment driven by the low-interest rates given by banks on deposits and the scrapping of the property tax.

It also appears that businessmen are buying up empty plots close to universities to develop them into one-bedroom apartment blocks to rent out to university students.

Construction costs for apartments according to the Statistical Services is around €840 per square meter and a considerable number of apartments need to be built if the price of rents is to come down.

With tens of thousands of students currently studying around the country, a considerable length of time is required before the necessary numbers of apartments are built to cover the needs.

In the meantime, students are co-habiting, which although not ideal for many, serves as a temporary, and cheaper, option.

Statistics show that of the 299,275 occupied buildings in Cyprus during 2011, only 3,443 were one-bedroom apartments of which only 2,134 were in urban areas.

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