At the beginning of this week, Maastricht University shared the new provisional registration figures: the student population has grown to almost 20 thousand students (in 2019 the counter stood at about 19 thousand). And despite the largely online education, they are coming to Maastricht in droves. Whoever offers a room for rent on the popular Facebook page Rooms/Kamer/Zimmer is sure to get twenty reactions from seekers within a short space of time. In many new student complexes, the studios went like hot cakes.
All 197 studios by Bassin Student Housing on the inland harbour and H83 (Hertogsingel) have been rented out, the website says in large letters. Both buildings are from the same commercial party: Mulleners Vastgoed. Students pay 530 euro rent.
In the Wauwhaus on the Dokter Nevenstraat, a renovated office building close to the Kennedy bridge, all 127 beds are also occupied. It went very quickly, “everything was rented within five weeks,” says Tom Kissels from Huizen Beheer Maastricht, “and that without actual viewings”. All the marketing was done online, mainly through social media. Seventy-eight foreign students arrived there, mainly Belgians and Germans, but also Italian and Spanish students. Besides furnished studios for a single person, the Wauwhaus also has a few apartments for groups of two or four people. The rent for a single-person studio is about 700 euro.
XIOR, a large Belgian student housing company with roughly 1,300 studios and rooms in Maastricht (including the large complexes Carré and the former Bonnefantencollege on the Tongerseweg), already rented the last apartments in the renovated Bonnefantencollege last December. By now, their ‘portfolio’ has also been filled to a large extent, head office stated.
In Randwyck, the area where the city of Maastricht is envisioning large-scale student housing, things are not moving so quickly. Of the 252 rooms that were built and furnished this summer on the grounds of the UM’s former sports hall “a dozen or so rooms” have indeed been rented, but there are still a “sufficient number available”, manufacturer C3Living reported. The cabins – which were built in the factory in Panningen and transported to Maastricht – have been piled three-high. The basic rent is 427 euro per month. Another 200 euro is added for service charges, soft- and other furnishing costs and a maintenance subscription.
For providers focusing on exchange students – with contracts for a number of months up to a year – the picture is not so rosy. Students often aren’t coming because of the COVID-19 measures. For this reason, about 30 per cent of the accommodation in Maastricht University’s Guesthouse, which provides primarily for short-stay groups, is empty.
Wendy Degens, Yuri Meesen