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Tuesday 6 December 2016

Dublin 14th most expensive city but still 'good value', say experts

Lord Mayor of Dublin, Brendan Carr.
Lord Mayor of Dublin, Brendan Carr.

Dublin now ranks among the world's most expensive cities to live and work in - but it is still considered "good value".

A new report by property experts Savills has shown Dublin shooting into the top 20 most-expensive cities when compared on their "work-live index".

The index measures the annual per-person cost of renting and occupying home and office space per employee.

Dublin ranks 14th - but as late as last March did not feature on the list at all.

According to Savills, European cities on the list have shown a "modest" increase in rents, but Dublin is singled out as an "exception".

The capital has "seen an overall live-work increase of 6pc in euro terms, fuelled primarily by a big bounce in office rents from low post-crash levels, and especially in the creative and tech sector", according to the report.

This compares with a 3pc rent rise in Berlin and a 1pc hike in Paris.

New York, Hong Kong, London, Tokyo and Paris make up the top five.

At the lower end of the table, Dublin ranks higher than Berlin, Moscow and Rio de Janeiro.

However, the outlook for Dublin is still positive, according to Savills.

"Despite their small size, both Berlin and Dublin look very good value to businesses looking to locate within a large and prosperous economic region," the report says.

Salaries

"Annual accommodation costs in these cities are among the lowest in the Savills' live-work index and comparable to Mumbai and Lagos," the report reads.

Commenting on the findings, Yolande Barnes, director of Savills world research, explained why rental costs are key to attracting businesses.

"Office-based businesses operating in major world cities will spend around one-third of their total operating costs on accommodation through a combination of commercial rents, paid directly to landlords, and demands on salaries created by the cost of employees' living accommodation," she said.

"Fluctuations in these costs will therefore have a significant bearing on how competitive a city is to employers."

The index comes after employers' group Ibec expressed concern about Ireland's competitive edge in the wake of the Brexit vote and called for a range of measures including a focus on the minimum wage.

"The Brexit strain is manifest and intense. Without urgent action to address competitive pressures, hundreds of millions of euro worth of exports and thousands of Irish jobs will be lost," said Ibec director of policy Fergal O'Brien.

"Individual businesses have been slow to talk publicly, but the feedback from members is clear and unambiguous.

"Businesses and jobs are already under threat."

Dublin Lord Mayor Brendan Carr hit back at the comments and said that any attempt to cut workers' wages must be stopped, especially given the high cost of living in the city.

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