Dublin costliest city in euro zone because of high rents, survey says

Capital falls 11 places to number 43 in annual cost of living study by Mercer

Dublin’s high rents make the city the costliest in the euro zone, a survey published on Wednesday says.

The Republic’s capital has fallen 11 places to number 43 in an annual cost of living study of the world’s cities by pay and pensions specialist Mercer, which advises businesses when they want to move workers from one country to another.

The figures show that Dublin remains the most expensive city in the euro zone in which to live, ahead of Milan in Italy at 45 and French capital Paris at 47.

Noel O’Connor, senior consultant at Mercer’s Irish operation, blamed high rents, a consequence of the Republic’s housing crisis, for making Dublin an expensive place to live.


“High demand coupled with supply constraints in the private rental market mean that expatriates may face serious problems finding appropriate accommodation, often the biggest cost for companies placing employees on assignment,” Mr O’Connor warned.


Fears are growing that expenses such as high rents could deter multinationals from locating in Dublin, as these costs make it more expensive for organisations to move managers to the city to oversee these investments.

The cost of living survey uses New York as its base city. Its calculations take everyday expenses including rent, the cost of a cup of coffee, cinema tickets and buying a pair of jeans into account. Mercer surveyed more than 200 cities around the world in March.

Hong Kong topped the rankings this year, followed by Tokyo in Japan at number two, Singapore at three and South Korea's capital Seoul at four. Zurich in Switzerland was Europe's most expensive city at number five. Belfast came in at number 158.

Mr O’Connor noted that the euro’s fall against the dollar made living in the euro zone cheaper, but within the single currency region costs remained relatively the same as in 2018.

He suggested that Dublin could cut the cost of living by expanding the number of homes available to rent. “Nevertheless, Dublin remains an attractive location for multinational organisations,” he said.

Other expensive western European cities included Switzerland's Bern at 12 and Geneva at 13, Copenhagen in Denmark at 20 and British capital London at 23.

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O’Halloran covers energy, construction, insolvency, and gaming and betting, among other areas