It is not a city for families: in Urbino houses for rent only for students

by CECILIA ROSSI

URBINO – Daniela he is 30 years old, has family and has been looking for a house for rent in Urbino since October. After the birth of the second daughter, more space is needed. But it is not an easy feat in the city. “The last time I spoke to an owner, it was for an apartment in Gadana, not so big, two rooms, perfect for us. I had agreed on a contract of 400 euros on 60 square meters. The next day I see an ad on Facebook: the apartment was under the desk and the rooms were rented as single and double ”.

The student market is back

Urbino is well known a university town. The population is divided – almost exactly – in half between residents and students at the university. Just under 13,000 the former, just over 14,000 the latter. The weight that the latter has on the city is easy to understand, even just walking through the alleys in the center: they are the ones who live in the heart of Urbino. Especially now that lectures, exams and graduation ceremonies have returned to take place in person.

Companies – from printers, to florists to bars – revolve around the student market. And also real estate agents. This means that the majority of the supply of rental houses does not consist of apartments, but of single or double rooms. There are many contracts that here follow the logic of the bed. To confirm this is Francesco Mandelli, Secretary of the Asppi – Union of Small Property Owners – in Pesaro and Urbino. “Of the more than 7,000 contracts that we set until 2020, between Urbino and Fermignano, the majority were all on a subsidized fee for students,” he explains to The Duchy. “Back then, with the pandemic, there was a sharp drop in all rents, and only now are they recovering with the return of college students.”

“I will be forced to change residence”

Bulletin boards scattered around the city, specialized online sites, word of mouth: Daniela tries them all. But he closed with the agencies, because “when I called and specified that I was looking for a lease for families and not for students, they closed me in the face,” he says. The Duchy. “If it went well, they offered me prices that were not possible for a family with a single income.

The agencies, for their part, complain about the lack of properties suitable for families: “We work largely only with students, professors and partners at the university, because they are the only ones who manage to return to the prices and square meters that market offers .borger ”, explains al The Duchy Annarita Romani by Urbino living. “For every 10 clients who come into the agency, there are nine students, only one is a family. And when they come, we direct them to peripheral areas, such as Gadana or Canavaccio, because only there are places that suit them.

The Gambedotti bureau adds: “The market for families does not exist here or marks irrelevant figures. Prices are based on the economic opportunities of non-resident students, so it makes no sense to offer them to families: they would cost too much for them. “.

The real problem for Urbino is that other municipalities are becoming more attractive, such as Montecchio di Vallefoglia or Fermignano. “It is natural,” adds Romani, “if you can have a house of one hundred square meters in Montecchio for 700 euros a month, and with the same price in Urbino a 45 meter house, guess where people are going to live?”.

In May 2022, the monthly rent required for a property in Urbino is on average 8.12 euros per square meter, with an increase of 12.78% compared to May 2021 where the price was 7.20 euros. It reveals data from Immobiliare.it, where it can be seen that Urbino remains below the provincial average, which amounts to 10.43 euros, but still more expensive than neighboring countries, such as Fermignano and Urbania, marking 7.97 euros per meter. Square.

“If the research continues like this,” Daniela confides, “I will be forced to leave and change homes. Even if I do not want to.” The possible loss of a young family for Urbino would be a high price to pay: the municipality has seen so many residents leave in recent years, so much so that it has dropped to below 15 thousand, the minimum quota for continuing to be co-capital.

The municipality’s response

On March 29, the city council of Urbino approved a decision to change the size of the surfaces in the historic center: the minimum square meter of a house required in the new master plan went from 70 to 45. This is a planned change. create a group of downtown vacation rentals for tourists, like the mayor Maurizio Gambini he renamed it “widespread hotel”. During the session, the mayor explained: “This can also provide access to the city center for young families who do not have large financial resources. So they can be rented at an acceptable price for a young family or nuclei with few family units “.

Then he added: “The limit could even drop to 28 square meters, but only for areas used exclusively for tourism. This means that there will be a notarial bond that does not allow rent for more than 90 days.” The decision was adopted by four votes against, including by Mario Rosatileader of Viva Urbino, who accused the majority of “gentrification”, or, as he explained to the Council, “the phenomenon whereby the historic centers, especially in the most popular areas, are abandoned by resident families to become occupied with tourist activities. the cities empty themselves completely and die ”.

Plus 20 euro rent

Inflation, which has been rising steadily since February, is also affecting rental prices. According to Istat data and the Idealista Studies Office in the province of Pesaro and Urbino, the average price of a one-bedroom apartment in April 2022 is 317 euros: an average monthly increase of 17 euros compared to the same month in 2021.

Among the Marche provinces, Pesaro and Urbino are the ones that have suffered the slightest increase in spending. With the exception of Ascoli Piceno, whose data are not available, rent in Ancona has increased by 26 euros since April last year, in Macerata by 24 and in Fermo by 23. Everyone has an average monthly rent of around 450 euros …

Compared to the other Italian provinces, Urbino registers a moderate increase, as the increase in Italy averaged 29 euros. The cheapest are Catanzaro, Nuoro and Trapani, which record monthly rent increases of just 15 euros, with an average price of 265 euros for a one-bedroom apartment. Nothing compares to Milan, the most expensive province in Italy, where tenants had to pay almost 40 euros more per month, which reached an average of 709 euros.

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