Lost Among Europeans

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The Irish Bubble

I’ve been working in Dublin over half a year, and one thing that strikes me about this city is the insanity of real estate. Prices are ridiculously high. For the same amount that afforded me a great two-bedroom apartment in the center of Luxembourg, I can only get shifty one-bedrooms.

One would think that construction would be booming, but it is not. Again, there seemed to be more action in Luxembourg than in Dublin. How can this be? As I get to know a few Irish people, and learn more about the place, I’ve found that Ireland has lived through a bubble in the recent past, and much as what happened in Spain, the bubble affected largely the construction sector.

A lot of the construction firms went under, and the ones that survived may be wary of the new explosion in demand for housing. Legislation for landlords is also apparently not very friendly. Banks are a lot more cautious with credit.

I think this is all quite sensible and understandable. The problem is that the tax-haven bonanza continues to bring more and more business to the city. Those companies bringing people in don’t apparently care that their employees will have trouble finding housing, or other services, where demand in Dublin is also outpacing offer.

I suppose that, in time, things will adjust. For the moment though, one learns to expect poor service, high prices and rudeness from a rental market living through a craze.