Googleland rents on the rise

The cost of renting in Dublin has soared, especially in the Docklands area where international workers for US tech companies compete for accommodation

Thu, Jun 19, 2014, 00:00

Three of the couples who viewed the one- bedroom apartment were already living in the Gasworks but were sharing with others and wanted to rent on their own.

Employment growth has been one of the few economic pluses of recent years as Ireland emerges from the downturn. Predictably, accommodation shortages are most acute where growth is strongest.

MyHome.ie spokeswoman Angela Keegan says it is undoubtedly an issue for multinational employees arriving in Dublin who have to compete with Irish tenants looking for accommodation. “Stock is at its lowest levels since I’ve been in the business,” she says.

Shortages

About 18 months ago, MyHome.ie made a presentation to Google staff about finding accommodation in Dublin. Since then, though, the situation has tightened considerably. There are just 760 apartments currently available to rent in Dublin on the MyHome.ie website, not including new-builds, which are also scarce.

There is also an acute shortage of houses for sale, just 3,500 in total at present, down from a peak of 6,000, so those who wish to move out of the rental sector and thereby free up rental accommodation are not doing so. “I do know this is an issue for the Googles and Facebooks in Dublin. There is serious competition for good apartments in the city centre. It is talked about a lot,” Keegan says. Foreign workers coming into Dublin like to stay close to the city centre and are not interested in living in suburbia, she believes.

However the apparent shortage of rental accommodation hasn’t become a source of major concern for the US multinationals. American Chamber of Commerce spokesman Brian Harrison says it is not an issue that had been raised by its members, which include most US multinationals operating in Ireland.

Google is the biggest multinational employer in central Dublin, with 2,500 staff. Just 30 per cent are Irish. Nearly 2,000 overseas workers have had to find accommodation in Dublin. A Google spokeswoman said they have been encouraging their workforce in Dublin to expand their horizons beyond the docklands area of the city.

High rents “Occasionally we receive feedback from Googlers about the challenge of finding good accommodation in Dublin. We’ve been helping our employees to look more broadly around Dublin, and not just in the immediate vicinity. We believe this will not only open up a broader pool of accommodation choices and price ranges to them, but it will also expand their horizons and allow them to experience living in lots of different places in the city.”

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