Flat Hunting Students In Brno Squeezed Between Rising Rental Prices and Lack of Space in Dormitories

Due to inflation and rising energy prices, students will be paying more for accommodation this year, with prices in Brno rapidly catching up with Prague. For this reason, student dorms have filled up fast, leaving many students struggling to find anywhere affordable to live. Photo Credit: SM / BD.

Brno, Sep 1 (BD) – Rental housing prices in much of the Czech Republic are growing at their slowest rate for many years, and in Prague, rents are at long-term lows. However, according to experts, the situation is still unsustainable, and a renewed rapid growth of rents across the country is inevitable, due to inflation, rising construction costs, and the expected rise in energy prices in September. This spells bad news for students in Brno, the one place in the country which barely saw a slowdown in rent increases during the pandemic, and where rents have grown significantly since January, almost catching up with the capital. 

The gradual increase in mortgage prices and rising housing prices could attract a renewed wave of interest in subletting post-pandemic, as households try to cut costs. Unlike last year, when universities switched to online education and demand for sublets fell as students went home, this year landlords will again find students in the market for housing in university cities.

About 50,000 newly enrolled students will go to university this year, and tens of thousands of them will be looking for private rented accommodation. At the moment, they will be paying an average of 5-6% more in rents compared to last year, varying depending on the occupancy of the apartment. According to Czech finance website kurzy.cz, prices will continue to rise, due to the cost of energy and increased demand for rents from households that are unable to pay their increasingly expensive mortgages.

“From the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020, we saw a decrease in searches for dormitories, roommates, rented rooms, and other forms of cheap housing, search terms typical of students,” said Jakub Šafář, a data analyst at Seznam.cz, quoted by Seznam Zpravy. “But we have seen these increasing again since July this year. Due to the current development of the pandemic, students seem more optimistic that they will be returning to standard teaching. Looking at the top search queries, we can see more searches for separate room rentals. Interestingly, students are also looking for information on housing assistance.” 

To add to the perfect storm for student flat hunters, the expensive prices of flats has led to a shortage of places in dormitories, which is not enough to satisfy demand. “I was surprised that there are no free dormitories in the whole of Brno,” one student at Masaryk University told the iDNES.cz news outlet. “All of them, including the private ones, were occupied on the day the reservations were launched.”

It seems like this situation will continue to be a problem for students in the new academic year.  

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