Friday 17 August 2018

How can living in Dublin cost more than Geneva?

As young workers up sticks for the likes of Switzerland, those left behind may want to protest at the ballot box

HOT PROPERTY: Workers take a lunch break in the shadow of the apartment blocks around Dublin’s Grand Canal Dock. Photo: Tony Gavin
HOT PROPERTY: Workers take a lunch break in the shadow of the apartment blocks around Dublin’s Grand Canal Dock. Photo: Tony Gavin
Colm McCarthy

Colm McCarthy

During the World Cup the pubs around central Dublin found themselves unexpectedly thronged by flash mobs of young Poles, Germans, Brazilians and assorted other nationalities in team shirts, who gathered by text message to support their compatriots. One embarrassed barman sent out for a large Polish flag which arrived just in time for the team's exit from the tournament. But not before we had both taken on board the complaints of his new-found customers about the rental crisis in Dublin.

One couple from Poznan, both working, had given up the struggle: faced with a bill of €2,300 per month for a two-bedroomed apartment in Milltown, they had decided to move to Geneva, where they had job offers and expected to find a decent apartment at €1,500 or less.

They were not being naive either: they had checked it out with Poles already living there and on Swiss property websites. When housing policy has delivered rents uncompetitive with Switzerland, it is time to acknowledge that reality is imparting a message: rents in the capital are out of control.

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