Dublin is fifth most expensive place for renters in Europe

New rankings show Hong Kong is most expensive place to rent despite Covid-19 drop

Dublin is the fifth most expensive city in which to rent a home in Europe this year, having experienced an increase of €119 per month in 2020, according to global mobility expert ECA International.

The increase equated to a 2.2 per cent year-on-year rise, although this was a slower rate of increase than experienced the year before when it was 6 per cent. The average rental cost of a three-bedroom home in central Dublin is now €3,713 per month.

Dublin is far costlier than many other major European cities such as Rome at €2,729, Berlin at €2,475, and Valencia at €1,600.

“Dublin remains a popular location for businesses to send staff on assignment, so demand continues to impact accommodation costs,” according to Alec Smith, accommodation services manager at ECA International.


“In addition, ongoing building regulations, which remain tight in Dublin, make supply slim in popular areas of the city.”

Figures published by the Central Statistics Office on Friday showed the number of homeowners across the country rose last year as the impact of the pandemic saw more people abandon the rental market.

The increase was sharpest in Dublin, with the numbers owning a property increasing by 8 per cent, up from 848,700 at the end of 2019 to 916,400 at the end of 2020.

London maintains its position as the most expensive location in Europe to rent for the fifth year in a row, while it is the fourth most expensive place globally.

Although London’s renters have experienced a rise of £56 (€65) per month, it’s considerably less than the rental increase in 2020 (£121 per month). The average cost of a three-bedroom, mid-range home in a prime London location is now £5,364 per month.

“As expected, the Covid-19 pandemic is set to influence rental prices in London, but the full extent of this is still yet to be seen,” said Mr Smith.

Remote working

“Future falls in rents are expected in prime central districts, and it’s likely some level of remote working will remain across many industries post-pandemic.

“A central location is therefore likely to move down the list of priorities for many expat renters, with larger properties and outdoor space becoming more attractive.”

Hong Kong has been named the most expensive location in the world for accommodation for the fourth year in a row, but it still saw rental costs drop considerably due to the effects of Covid-19.

The average monthly rental price for an unfurnished, mid-market, three-bedroom apartment in Hong Kong is $10,769 (€9,054), which represents a drop of 6 per cent compared to last year.

“Hong Kong has seen a rare decrease in rental costs this year, as Covid-19 has lessened the demand for accommodation in the top-tier areas where expatriates would normally reside,” said Mr Smith.

“The pandemic has had a serious effect on international business in general, but more specifically has severely limited the number of overseas workers moving to Hong Kong.

“It is still by far the most expensive location in Asia for rental costs and still more expensive than New York, despite the gap closing slightly this year.”

Other moves

A non-mover, Paris is ranked sixth most expensive in Europe with a rental increase of €76 per month, now costing €3,537. Hamburg, ranking 20th in Europe, also saw a steady rise in rental prices of €46 per month, now costing €2,470 ($2,725).

Istanbul dropped 60 places in the global ranking, now the 116th most expensive city in the world to rent in. Costing $2,441 per month, it has seen a 30 per cent decrease on last year.

“Turkey continues to battle economic instability, as it faces an impending financial crisis,” noted Mr Smith.

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson is an Irish Times reporter