Rents in Tartu have risen by over 6 percent since January and will likely continue as students start looking for new accommodation ahead of the new academic year. A one-room apartment costs €400 on average in the university town.
Students received their acceptance emails several days ago and the scramble to find somewhere to live has already begun. Every new offer is quickly snapped up, Thursday's "Aktuaalne kaamera" reported.
While students do not need to move in before the end of August, contracts usually begin in July to secure a nice property, said Uus Maa real estate broker Anna Vikman-Vähi.
On average, prices are 10 percent higher than in July last year.
Liis Kurik, a broker at real estate company Arco Vara, said prices had risen by 6.4 percent between January and July.
"For example, if we compared with Tallinn, then rents in Tallinn have risen by 5.9 percent. Tartu is still at the forefront of the rental supply market," said Kurik.
Anna Vikman-Vähi said this year high school pupils are also looking for apartments, not only university students.
"They come from smaller settlements, where there is no good secondary school and they are forced to live in Tartu," she said.
The most popular apartments have one or two rooms and are situated in Tartu's new developments. A two-room apartment costs approximately €540 per month.
"For a one-room in the center of the city, €450 to €500 is of course a lot. Even though students are usually financed by their parents, they are willing to accept it," said Vikman-Vähi.
In comparison, a place in a university dormitory usually costs about €150 a month. But not all applicants get a place.
"This year there will be around 3,400 first-year students, with a total of 3,390 [dormiatry] places in Tartu, Viljandi, and Narva," said Anette-Mai Pirk-Birk, vice-chairman of the student body of the University of Tartu. "But if you consider that we have about 10,000 students in full-time studies at the University of Tartu, there are still very few places."
New students can apply for dormitory places from Friday.
Editor: Aleksander Krjukov, Helen Wright