Irish cost of living is driving tech professionals out of the country

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  • Ireland’s costly and low-availability rental accommodation is provoking growing numbers of technology professionals to turn down the opportunity to relocate to Ireland for work, according to the findings of a recent report.

    The amount of job candidates living overseas who have rejected relocating to Ireland has nearly doubled over the past 12 months, with most deciding to stay where they are, or opt for the likes of Berlin or Lisbon instead.

    Prosperity, a specialist recruitment company based in Dublin which focuses on hiring digital technology professionals has established a presence in Paris, in a move which suggests that firms are feeling the pinch in Ireland when it comes to accommodation.

    Prosperity is also in the process of launching satellite offices in Lisbon and Berlin to recruit in areas such as front-end development, UI design, data analytics and software engineering. The firm’s Managing Director, Gary Mullan claimed that Ireland’s tech and digital sectors are heavily reliant on foreign expertise, due to a lack of an indigenous skills base. Ultimately, however, the Irish cost of living has been attributed to the rejections: “The reliance of local demand on international supply in now being jeopardised by the increasing cost of living here; in particular the cost and availability of rental accommodation,” said Mr Mullan.

    The Managing Director at Prosperity said: “Whereas in 2016 and preceding years we had a rejection rate of approximately 15 per cent on job offers to candidates living abroad, by the third quarter of 2017 that has doubled to nearer 30 per cent. Time and again, candidates from abroad have cited an internet search on the cost and availability of accommodation in Dublin (and the many associated horror stories) as their reason for rejecting a job offer.”

    Mullan’s statement follows the publication of figures by this year which demonstrated that market rents in Dublin are now 66 per cent higher than at their lowest point. The national average rent was recorded as €1,131 at the end of the first quarter, with rents in Dublin city rising faster than elsewhere, as the average monthly cost of accommodation hitting €1,690.

    Simultaneously the data found that during the same period, there were fewer than 3,100 properties available to rent - the lowest number on record.

    Prosperity’s latest salary survey findings suggested that salaries in the European digital and tech sectors are often similar or equal to those paid in Ireland - but the cost of living elsewhere can, of course, be markedly cheaper.

     “This loss of talent exacerbates the on-going skills shortage in the Irish market,” said Gary Mullan.

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