GEOThe highs and lows of Dublin’s rental crisis have, for the first time, been mapped out. The new map, which was published last week by the UCD School of Geography has been developed by Professor Gerald Mills. Speaking to the College Tribune, Professor Mills expressed his hope that visual data such as this can show to his students just what can be done with modern mapping techniques.

Using data which is freely available from the Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB), Professor Mills plotted 100 points which represent the average cost of renting in certain areas onto a grid. This grid was then overlaid onto a map of Dublin and isolines, which link areas of equal value in the same way as contour lines link areas of equal height on a map of the Wicklow mountains, were added.

The result is a map which is striking in its depiction of the rental crisis gripping Dublin. Highs of €1700 and lows of 900 per month show a drastic increase over the average of some €450 at the low end just four years ago.

The professor expressed surprise at the extent to which prices mirror the socioeconomic backgrounds of certain areas, particularly noting the spread of high rent along the east coast and now into the Docklands areas which have become gentrified as part of an ongoing regeneration project.

He also mentioned that postcodes are no longer of any use to researchers in this field as those which are typically considered wealthy such as Dublin 4 can also include areas such as Ringsend and Irishtown where prices can be significantly lower than the postcode average.

This same trend sees areas in which UCD students typically rent such as Blackrock and Dún Laoghaire and the Liberties stand out as islands of relatively low rent in comparison with others.

The data used in the map spans from January to March of 2015. In an upcoming class next semester, the professor hopes to include more up to date appraisals of rent costs and where possible, make a dynamic map which will display changes over time.

By Seán O’Reilly, Editor