Dublin is now the fifth most expensive European city for expats to rent a home

Average expat rent for a three bed in Irish capital is now €3,406

Dublin has overtaken Paris for the first time to become the fifth most expensive place for an expat to rent a home in Europe, according to a new survey.

The research, published by global mobility expert ECA International, found that the average rental price for an unfurnished, mid-range, three-bedroom apartment in Dublin targeting the expat market, has risen to € 3,406 a month. This puts Dublin behind London, Moscow, Zurich and Geneva, and compares with an average rent of €3,324 for Paris.

"The past 10 years have seen a significant turnaround in the fortunes of Dublin's residential rental market. The global financial crisis exposed a property bubble in the Irish capital and rents have increased significantly with each subsequent year of recovery. The cost of renting has also been affected by elevated demand from international companies relocating staff while looking to take advantage of Ireland's low corporate tax rate," said Alec Smith, accommodation services manager, ECA International.

The latest hike for Dublin means that in addition to being the fifth most expensive city in Europe for expats, it is now the 26th most expensive across the world.

The findings come as rents across the city continue to rise for residents and expats alike, fuelled by strong demand as Dublin continues to benefit from a “Brexodus” of businesses, particularly financial services companies, from the UK. The last year has also seen the development of new apartment buildings firmly targeted at the upper end of the rental market, such as Capital Dock in the docklands, where rents start at €3,300 a month for a two-bed.

European trends

Elsewhere, rental costs rose significantly across Europe. Whilst Dublin saw the biggest rises in expatriate rental costs in Europe, major cities such as Madrid, Rome, Paris and Barcelona all saw increases of over € 120 a month.

In Spain, Madrid saw the average expatriate rent rise by € 240 to € 2299, whilst in Barcelona rent increased by € 202 to € 2,049.

“Madrid and Barcelona have reversed years of falling rents that followed in the wake of the global financial crisis. Their markets are flooded with renters, both from the local young professional population, and international assignees. Property purchase is now out of reach of the majority of city residents, keeping competition for tenancies high,” Mr Smith said.

Meanwhile in Paris, demand remains strong for property in the French capital, as the city continues to target attracting business due to Brexit, and expatriate rent has risen to € 3,324, an increase of over € 126.

Across the world, Hong Kong remains the most expensive location in the world for expatriate rent, with typical expat accommodation averaging $10,929 per month,up by 4.9 percent from last year.

“Rents increased across Hong Kong during 2018 with limited availability, a long-term issue for the Hong Kong housing market, being the main driver,” Mr Smith said.

In China, cities endured a mixed fortune throughout 2018 with major rent increases seen in some locations, but static or decreasing levels of rent in others. Shanghai was the highest placed Chinese city and the eighth most expensive city for expats to rent in globally, averaging $5,305 a month.

Fiona Reddan

Fiona Reddan

Fiona Reddan is a writer specialising in personal finance and is the Home & Design Editor of The Irish Times