High cost of rents pushes Dublin into top 50 most expensive cities for expatriate employees

Cost of rental accommodation largely to blame for move up the rankings, says Mercer

Mercer noted that 'Dublin remains an attractive location for expatriates when they elect to go on assignment'. Photograph: Getty Images

Dublin has become one of the 50 most expensive cities in which to live for expatriate employees, according to a global ranking compiled by consultancy Mercer, largely due to the high cost of rental accommodation in the city.

Climbing up 10 places in the firm’s cost-of-living ranking to 41st, Dublin is behind cities like London, which ranked 8th, and 29th-placed Paris but ahead of big European cities including Edinburgh, Milan, Rome and Madrid.

However, despite the move up the rankings, living costs in Dublin remained relatively stable in the year, said Danny Mansergh, head of career consulting at Mercer. “As inflation pressures have eased, increases in the cost of expatriate rental accommodation, as well as goods and services, were relatively low in Dublin and in line with western Europe,” he said. “Dublin remains an attractive location for expatriates when they elect to go on assignment.”

Hong Kong retained the top spot in this year’s ranking as the most expensive city in which to live for international employees, followed by Singapore, Zurich, Geneva and Basle.


“Cost of living is a key consideration for multinational businesses making decisions on site selection and expansion,” Mr Mansergh said, with volatile inflation trends eroding purchasing power across the globe in recent years. “High demand in the private rental market, often the biggest cost for companies placing employees on assignment, along with such items as utility costs, present challenges for employers of international assignees.”

‘Ireland is a microcosm of a global housing problem’

Listen | 30:11

A report published earlier this year by Stepstone Group, the parent of recruitment platform IrishJobs, indicated a decline in Ireland’s attractiveness to foreign employees as a consequence of infrastructure challenges including the housing crisis. Ireland slipped to 36th in the ranking versus 40th a year earlier.

Meanwhile, the survey indicated Dublin was the 36th most attractive place in which to work for expatriate employees, unchanged from the last survey in 2021.

Half of American Chamber of Commerce Ireland members, including some of the biggest multinational employers in the State, cited the housing crisis as the biggest obstacle to further investment in the State in a survey earlier this year.

Ian Curran

Ian Curran

Ian Curran is a Business reporter with The Irish Times