Dublin’s high living costs sees it rank mid-table in best cities survey

Capital scores highly for remote working infrastructure but not for cost of renting home office space

Dublin scored well in terms of the lack of air, noise and light pollution. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/ The Irish Times

Dublin was only ranked mid-table in a survey of best cities to live and work remotely from due to the high cost of living, particularly housing, according to a new survey by online housing platform Nestpick.

The group’s work-from-anywhere index 2021 assesses 75 global cities across a variety of factors related to working from home, including costs and infrastructure, taxes, freedoms, safety and livability.

Dublin placed 32nd on the list, scoring highly when it came to remote working infrastructure, which assesses the legal framework for remote work combined with an estimate of the percentage of jobs that are teleworkable in the city.

The capital also scored well in terms of the lack of air, noise and light pollution.


However, it fell down in terms of the cost of living, ranking 68th out of 75, and in terms of renting home office space, ranking 64th out of 75.

The average cost of renting home office space in the capital was estimated at $1,099 (€926) a month. Dublin rents were more expensive than most European cities with the exception of Paris and London. The most expensive cities in this category were San Francisco ($1,736), New York ($1,512), while the cheapest were Rio de Janeiro ($119) and Saint Petersburg ($139).

High rents and the lack of affordable housing has been highlighted as a major problem for Dublin in terms of competitiveness.

Melbourne is the highest ranking city in the index, scoring highly on livability factors like safety, healthcare and culture and leisure activities, and is boosted by its remote working infrastructure and the presence of a specific "digital nomadvisa". Dubai and Sydney came next in the rankings.

Vaccination rates

US cities lead the pack for Covid-19 vaccination rates; Boston has the highest

percentage at 63.31 per cent, ahead of Honolulu (58.9 per cent) and Seattle (54.89 per ent). Dublin ranked 54 out of 75 in terms of its Covid-19 vaccination rate, which was estimated at 19.5 per cent.

Only 10 cities in the study were found to offer digital nomad visas: Zagreb, Prague, Lisbon, Reykjavik, Tallinn, Athens, Sydney, Melbourne, Dubai and Mexico City.

Las Palmas has the best overall weather conditions in the study, while Tallinn has the best combined noise, air and light pollution score.

"The global pandemic has caused many people to reassess their personal priorities, revealing the benefits of remote working flexibility and provoking the question , 'is it really possible to work from anywhere?'," said Omer Kucukdere, founder and chief executive at Nestpick.

“What we’ve seen through our study, however, is that technology and employers have moved faster than infrastructure, with many legal barriers still in place for migrants who want to bring their job with them,” he said.

”Moreover, high-earners are leaving business-focused cities to live in places that offer better day-to-day lifestyles, taking their purchasing power with them,” he said.

“ This trend will only become more popular as time goes on, so we believe that we will see more and more cities adapting to these new working conditions, and benefitting from the economic boost that these workers inject into their economies,” he said.


Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy is Economics Correspondent of The Irish Times