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Tech job losses will have no impact on rental sector, as Dublin is ‘full’

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'There is no impact whatsoever,' says letting agent Owen Reilly

'There is no impact whatsoever,' says letting agent Owen Reilly

‘There is no impact at all,’ says Owen Reilly. ‘Dublin is full’

‘There is no impact at all,’ says Owen Reilly. ‘Dublin is full’

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'There is no impact whatsoever,' says letting agent Owen Reilly

Recent job layoffs at Twitter, Meta and Stripe will have no impact on the chronic shortage of rental properties in Dublin, according to one of the city’s biggest letting agents.

Owen Reilly said it would take thousands of job losses to make any meaningful difference to the level of availability in the rental market.

Last Wednesday, Meta cut 11,000 jobs across its 87,000-person strong global operation, including an estimated 350 in Ireland. Twitter has also halved its global workforce, with up to 250 of the 500 jobs in Ireland expected to be affected. Stripe has announced it is laying off 14pc of its 7,000 employees globally, with 90 jobs due to be lost in Ireland. 

The country’s heavy reliance on the technology sector has been described by the Department of Finance as a “blind spot”.

Almost half of the tenants renting in the city’s so-called Silicon Docks, the area around Grand Canal Dock, are tech professionals from companies such as Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn, while 92pc of the tenants in the area are not Irish-born, according to statistics compiled by Mr Reilly’s eponymous company.

“This is not just a Docklands issue, this is a Dublin issue, because most of the professionals working in the Docklands aren’t living in the Docklands. They are spread out over the city,” he said.

“The reality is that Dublin has built enough office space for 30,000 people, and enough rental space for less than 10,000 people, so there is no impact whatsoever. Dublin is full.”

Although there is an estimated 4,000 units in the Docklands area, Mr Reilly’s agency only has two apartments available to rent there.

“You would have to come down and spend a day and see what happens when we list a new apartment, and the number of enquiries we get,” he said.

“It depends on the property, but if we list a rent-capped apartment for €2,100 a month, we could only list that on the portal for 20 minutes and we’d get so many emails and calls that we’d have to take the listing down. There is unbelievable demand.”

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The profile of renters in the area, according to data collected by the Reilly agency, suggests the typical tenant is aged 33 years, comes from continental Europe, works for a technology company, and earns a salary in excess of €90,000.

Mr Reilly said that for there even to be a short-lived “dent” in the capital’s short-term rental market, there would need to be at least 3,000 job losses in the tech sector.

“You would have to double that to see a six-month impact. To see any long-term impact I think there would need to be closer to 10,000 job losses,” he added.​

There has been no fallout as yet, he said, from the job losses recently announced by Twitter, Stripe and Meta, all of which have prominent office locations in the Silicon Docks.

“In fact, we let an apartment to someone in Meta today and sold an apartment to someone in Meta yesterday. We are seeing huge demand from TikTok and Salesforce employees. But Twitter has a very small footprint here.”

Twitter’s workforce had been fully remote since early in the pandemic, and in recent years its employees have been allowed to choose where they want to live — rather than remaining in cities where the company has offices.

But all that changed last week, with Elon Musk demanding all employees return to the office for at least 40 hours a week, which could increase demand in the Dublin rental sector.


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