Students and young adults do not have an easy life when it comes to finding their way on the housing market. The so-called "patho-development", a small number of dormitories, and exorbitant prices - these is just the tip of an iceberg on a collision course with the youth looking for accommodation. Is the situation similar in other EU countries?
Polish students do not exclusively have problems with difficult exams, but, above all, the situation on the real estate market. The number of student halls of residence near universities is overwhelmingly small. For instance, it is estimated that only 5% of all students can count on a room in a dormitory in Warsaw, while in other Polish cities the average is 10%.
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Obtaining a permission to rent a dormitory room is not the easiest thing to do. The university authorities decide on the allocation of a room on the basis of a range of data, such as the distance from the place of residence to the university or the level of earnings in the family. If someone is "unlucky" and their earnings exceed the minimal income even by €1 they are automatically excluded from the room-allocation process.
"Patho-developers" and PLN 5,000 rent
The problematic situation in the housing market is being exploited by the so called "patho-developers", i.e. constructors outdoing each other in the competition for the strangest architectural solutions. A room the size of a cubicle? No problem for them. Small living space and poor quality material used for construction is usually followed by a high price: in the largest Polish cities, the cost of renting a small studio apartment is around PLN 2,000 (€450) plus fees.
Romanians face similar problems
In Romania, the largest academic centres are Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca, Timisoara, Iasi, Constanta and Brasov. "Rents are rising steadily. Studios in Cluj are already being rented for €320 per month, 14% more than last year and €100 per month more compared to Timișoara, where the rental market is still more affordable. The current situation does not leave room for much interpretation of what will happen in the autumn, when the number of flats for rent will drop and demand will increase by up to 20% in bigger cities," says Daniel Crainic, marketing director of imobiliare.ro, the largest online property marketplace in Romania.
Bucharest, the country's capital, comes out slightly cheaper at €310 euros per month, €10 less than in Cluj-Napoca. In Brasov, you can move into a bedsit by paying €299 monthly, while in Constanta, the average rent for a small flat has reached €280. Every city saw spectacular rent increases of up to 20% from the beginning of the year to mid-August. The cheapest bedsit can be rented in Timișoara. The average cost of monthly rent there is €220.
Two- and three-room flats in Romania are significantly more expensive
The most expensive two-room flats are available in Cluj-Napoca where one must prepare themselves to pay €499 monthly. Not much less, €480 euros for a two-room flat must be paid in Bucharest. Brasov comes in third place - the monthly rent for two-room flat there is €430. In Constanta, on the other hand, two independent rooms cost €400 monthly. The cheapest flat with two rooms can be rented in Timișoara - the average rental cost is €350.
When it comes to three-room flats, the most expensive city is the Romanian capital, where monthly rent is around €650. In the second place, with €600 per month, is Cluj-Napoca with €600 monthly cost, and in third comes Brasov with rent as high as €580 on average. A similar property in Constanta will cost €550 monthly. Constanta is followed by Iasi with €450 rent and Timișoara where a rent for a three-room apartment is €400.
Bulgaria has a special housing programme for students
Bulgaria has a programme called Inter HECS, which helps students find suitable housing or dormitory accommodation. The cheapest option for students is a multi-bed room in a dormitory. The monthly cost of such an option is around €50. Rooms in Bulgarian dormitories are usually occupied by two people. Another disadvantage is the distance from the university – dormitories are usually located far from the academic buildings. Cooking is also prohibited in some dormitories, so you need to take into account the cost of easting out instead of preparing your own meals which is usually cheaper.
A slightly more expensive option is to live in a private flat. Here, the monthly rent ranges from €200 to €400, depending on the city and neighbourhood. The Inter HECS team advises that the search for a flat should start in July or August before the start of the academic year: the later it is, the more difficult it is to find a flat of an adequate standard and price.