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Why Is Accommodation In Dublin So Expensive


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Starr Salter



Dublin, the vibrant capital of Ireland, is a city filled with rich history, lively culture, and a booming economy. However, one aspect that often surprises visitors and residents alike is the high cost of accommodation in Dublin. Whether you are looking to rent an apartment, book a hotel room, or even find a hostel bed, you are likely to encounter steep prices that can put a strain on your budget.


So why is accommodation in Dublin so expensive? There are several factors that contribute to the soaring prices, including economic factors, high demand in the housing market, a shortage of housing supply, the impact of tourism, foreign investment, rising costs of living, limited rent control measures, and the influence of platforms like Airbnb. Exploring these factors will help shed light on the reasons behind the city’s costly accommodation options.


In this article, we will delve into each of these factors and analyze their impact on the housing market in Dublin. By understanding the underlying reasons for the high prices, you will be better equipped to navigate the accommodation options and make informed decisions that suit your budget and needs.


Economic Factors

One of the key reasons behind the expensive accommodation in Dublin is the strong economic growth that the city has experienced in recent years. Dublin is home to numerous multinational companies and has become a hub for tech giants, financial institutions, and pharmaceutical companies. The thriving job market and high salaries have attracted a large number of professionals to the city, increasing the demand for housing.


This economic prosperity has led to a ripple effect on the housing market. As more people flock to Dublin for employment opportunities, the demand for housing has skyrocketed. This increased demand has naturally driven up prices, making it more challenging for individuals and families to find affordable accommodation.


Furthermore, Dublin’s economic growth has also led to an influx of foreign investment in the real estate market. Investors from around the world are drawn to Dublin’s strong economy and potential for high returns, which has further intensified competition for limited housing supply.


Another economic factor contributing to the expensive accommodation is the rising cost of construction and maintenance. Construction costs have surged in recent years due to a combination of factors such as increased demand for materials and skilled labor, stricter building regulations, and rising land prices. These higher costs are ultimately passed on to tenants and buyers, making housing more expensive.


The high cost of living in Dublin also plays a role in the expensive accommodation. The city consistently ranks among the most expensive places to live in Europe, with high costs for everyday expenses like groceries, transportation, and entertainment. When the overall cost of living is high, it is unsurprising that accommodation prices follow suit.


In summary, the strong economic growth, increased demand for housing, foreign investment, rising construction costs, and the high cost of living all contribute to the expensive accommodation in Dublin. These economic factors create a challenging environment for individuals and families searching for affordable housing options in the city.


High Demand in the Housing Market

Dublin’s housing market is characterized by exceptionally high demand, which is one of the primary factors driving up accommodation prices in the city. The combination of population growth, inward migration, and high levels of employment opportunities has created a significant imbalance between supply and demand.


One significant factor contributing to the high demand is the growing population of Dublin. The city has experienced a steady increase in population over the past decade, with projections suggesting continued growth in the future. This population growth puts enormous pressure on the housing market, as the construction of new homes struggles to keep pace with the rising demand.


In addition to the local population growth, Dublin attracts many individuals and families from other parts of Ireland and abroad seeking employment opportunities. The city’s booming economy and reputation as a global tech and financial hub have made it a magnet for talent. However, the influx of people seeking housing exacerbates the demand-supply gap, driving up prices in the process.


Furthermore, Dublin’s high levels of employment opportunities also contribute to the high demand for housing. The city is home to many multinational corporations, tech start-ups, and financial institutions, offering a plethora of job opportunities across various sectors. This attracts professionals from both within Ireland and abroad, all vying for a limited supply of housing. As a result, competition for available homes is fierce, leading to inflated prices.


The high demand for housing in Dublin is further exacerbated by the limited supply of rental properties. Many potential homeowners are forced to turn to the rental market, increasing demand for rental properties. However, an inadequate supply of rental units, coupled with high demand, has caused rental prices to skyrocket in recent years.


The imbalance between supply and demand in the housing market has created a situation where prospective tenants and buyers have limited options and are often willing to pay a premium for the scarce available accommodation. This combination of high demand and limited supply has driven up prices, making it increasingly challenging for individuals and families to find affordable housing in Dublin.


Shortage of Housing Supply

One of the central factors contributing to the high accommodation prices in Dublin is the shortage of housing supply. The demand for housing in the city has consistently outstripped the availability of suitable homes, leading to a highly competitive market and inflated prices.


There are several reasons for the housing supply shortage in Dublin. First, there has been a historical underinvestment in new housing construction. The repercussions of the 2008 financial crisis and subsequent recession impacted the construction sector severely, leading to a decreased number of new housing units being built. This has created a gap between demand and supply that has yet to be filled.


Furthermore, the time-consuming process of obtaining planning permission and the associated bureaucracy have been significant barriers to increasing the housing supply in Dublin. The complex development regulations and slow approval process have hindered the construction of new homes, exacerbating the shortage. Additionally, the cost and availability of suitable land for development also pose challenges to increasing housing supply in the city.


Another contributing factor to the shortage of housing supply is the issue of “land hoarding.” Some developers and landowners hold onto vacant land without developing it, waiting for prices to rise even further. This practice reduces the amount of available land for housing development and adds to the scarcity of supply.


The shortage of housing supply is further exacerbated by the rapid population growth and inward migration to Dublin. As the demand for housing continues to outpace the construction of new homes, the gap between supply and demand widens. This dynamic drives competition among prospective buyers and tenants, leading to higher prices.


The consequences of the housing supply shortage are far-reaching. Families struggle to find suitable and affordable housing options, leading to overcrowding and increased rent burdens. Young professionals and graduates often face difficulties in securing rental accommodation in desirable neighborhoods. The shortage also perpetuates the cycle of rising prices, as limited supply drives up competition and pushes prices higher.


Addressing the shortage of housing supply in Dublin requires concerted efforts from policymakers, developers, and all stakeholders involved. Encouraging new construction, streamlining the planning and approval processes, and implementing incentives for developers can help alleviate the housing supply shortage, leading to more affordable accommodation options for residents and visitors alike.


Impact of Tourism on Accommodation Prices

Dublin, as a popular tourist destination, experiences a significant impact on its accommodation prices due to the influx of visitors. The thriving tourism industry has both positive and negative effects on the availability and affordability of accommodation in the city.


On the one hand, tourism brings economic benefits to Dublin by generating revenue for businesses and creating employment opportunities. The high demand from tourists for accommodation, particularly during peak seasons, drives up prices naturally. Hotel rates tend to increase, and short-term rental options like vacation rentals and serviced apartments become more expensive.


The concentration of tourists in popular areas of the city, such as Temple Bar and the city center, significantly affects accommodation prices in these locations. The demand for hotels and short-term rentals in these central areas is high, which leads to elevated prices as providers take advantage of the tourist influx. As a result, finding affordable accommodation in these tourist hotspots can be challenging.


The impact of tourism on accommodation prices extends beyond traditional options like hotels and vacation rentals. The rise of platforms like Airbnb has transformed the rental market, allowing homeowners to rent out their properties on a short-term basis. While this offers additional accommodation options for tourists, it can also contribute to the scarcity of long-term rental properties in Dublin.


Many property owners in Dublin have opted to list their properties on Airbnb, taking advantage of the higher rental rates that can be charged to short-term visitors. As a result, fewer properties are available for long-term rental, shrinking the supply and driving up prices for residents and those seeking longer stays in Dublin.


Efforts have been made to regulate short-term rentals in Dublin, including implementing limitations and restrictions on Airbnb listings. However, the impact of tourism on the rental market and accommodation prices remains a significant factor in Dublin’s housing landscape.


While tourism undoubtedly contributes to the local economy and cultural vibrancy of Dublin, it is essential to strike a balance to ensure that the influx of visitors does not lead to an unaffordable and unsustainable housing market. Policies and regulations need to be in place to protect the interests of both residents and tourists, promoting fair and affordable accommodation options for all.


Influence of Foreign Investment

The influence of foreign investment has been a significant factor contributing to the expensive accommodation prices in Dublin. The city’s strong economy and promising growth potential have attracted substantial foreign investment in the real estate market, which has had a profound impact on housing prices.


Foreign investors, including both individuals and institutions, view Dublin as an attractive destination for their investments. The city’s favorable business environment, low corporate tax rates, and skilled workforce make it an appealing choice for companies establishing European headquarters. This influx of foreign businesses has not only boosted the economy but also increased the demand for housing for their employees.


Foreign investors often target prime residential and commercial properties in Dublin, driving up prices in those areas. They typically have larger budgets and are willing to pay a premium for luxury properties or buildings in desirable locations. This trend has led to a disproportionate increase in prices in certain neighborhoods, making them even less affordable for local residents.


Moreover, foreign investment can also have an impact on the rental market. Investors often purchase properties with the intention of renting them out, either as long-term rentals or through platforms like Airbnb. This reduces the available housing supply for local residents while increasing competition and driving up rental prices.


The influence of foreign investment is not limited to individual investors. Institutional investors, such as real estate funds and pension funds, have also seen Dublin as an attractive market for their portfolios. These large-scale investments in buildings and developments have contributed to the rise in property prices across the city.


While foreign investment can bring economic benefits to Dublin, it is essential to strike a balance to ensure that it does not exacerbate the housing affordability issues. Policies and regulations need to be in place to ensure that the interests of local residents are protected, such as measures to promote affordable housing, encourage investment in affordable housing developments, and provide incentives for long-term rentals.


By managing foreign investment effectively, Dublin can harness the economic advantages while ensuring that the local population can access affordable and suitable housing options.


Rising Costs of Living in Dublin

Another significant factor contributing to the expensive accommodation in Dublin is the rising costs of living in the city. The overall high cost of living has a direct impact on housing prices, making it more challenging for individuals and families to find affordable accommodation.


Dublin consistently ranks among the most expensive cities in Europe, with high costs for everyday expenses such as groceries, transportation, and entertainment. The cost of basic necessities, such as rent, utilities, and healthcare, also adds to the financial burden on residents.


One key driver of the rising costs of living is the increasing demand for goods and services in Dublin. The city’s economic prosperity and growing population have led to surging demand for various products and amenities. This increased demand naturally results in higher prices, including housing costs.


Moreover, the popularity of Dublin as a tourist destination also contributes to the rising costs of living. Tourism brings in a significant influx of visitors who are willing to pay premium prices for goods and services, including accommodation, dining, and entertainment. Suppliers and businesses often adjust their pricing to capitalize on the higher demand from tourists, leading to increased costs for both residents and visitors alike.


Furthermore, the issue of supply and demand plays a role in the rising costs of living. The limited availability of certain goods and services, coupled with high demand, creates an environment where suppliers can charge higher prices. This applies not only to housing but also to other necessities such as food, transportation, and healthcare, all of which contribute to the overall cost of living.


The rising costs of living in Dublin also extend to factors such as taxation and inflation. Taxes can significantly impact disposable income, making it more challenging for individuals and families to afford accommodation. Additionally, inflation can erode purchasing power over time, further exacerbating the affordability of housing.


To address the rising costs of living in Dublin, policymakers need to consider measures to manage inflation, promote competition, and support affordable housing initiatives. Efforts should also be made to enhance the availability and accessibility of affordable basics such as healthcare, education, and transportation, which can have a direct impact on household budgets and housing affordability.


While Dublin’s high costs of living are a reality, efforts should be made to strike a balance between economic growth and ensuring a sustainable, affordable living environment for residents.


Limited Rent Control Measures

One of the contributing factors to the expensive accommodation in Dublin is the absence of comprehensive rent control measures. Unlike some other European cities, Dublin has limited regulations in place to control rental prices, allowing landlords to increase rents significantly in a short period.


Currently, the primary legislation governing rent in Dublin is the Residential Tenancies Act. While it provides some protection for tenants, such as notice periods for rent increases and restrictions on evictions, it does not impose strict rent control measures. As a result, landlords have the freedom to set rental prices based on market demand, often leading to significant year-on-year increases.


The limited rent control measures have contributed to rapid and unpredictable rent escalations, making it challenging for tenants to budget and plan for housing costs. This situation particularly affects individuals and families with limited disposable income, who find it increasingly difficult to secure and maintain affordable housing.


Additionally, the lack of rent control measures exacerbates the issue of rental affordability in Dublin. A significant portion of residents’ monthly income is spent on rent, sometimes exceeding the recommended affordability threshold. This leaves tenants with limited resources for other essential expenses and impacts their overall quality of life.


Furthermore, the absence of comprehensive rent control measures encourages market speculation and volatility. Landlords may take advantage of the lack of regulations to increase rents dramatically, particularly in areas with high demand and limited supply. This further contributes to the soaring accommodation prices in Dublin.


Efforts have been made to address the issue of limited rent control measures in Dublin. The government has introduced some temporary measures, including Rent Pressure Zones, which limit rent increases to a maximum of 4% per year in designated areas. However, these measures have faced criticism for being inadequate and not applying to the entire city.


Advocacy groups and housing campaigners have called for stronger and more comprehensive rent control measures to be put in place to ensure stability and affordability in Dublin’s rental market. Proposals include introducing stricter rent caps, linking rent increases to inflation, and implementing long-term tenancy agreements to provide stability for tenants.


Addressing the limited rent control measures in Dublin is essential to promote a fair and balanced rental market. By implementing comprehensive regulations, the city can provide more stability and affordability for tenants while creating a more sustainable and equitable housing environment.


Role of Airbnb in Increasing Rental Prices

A significant factor contributing to the increasing rental prices in Dublin is the role of platforms like Airbnb in the housing market. While Airbnb provides additional options for travelers, its impact on the availability and affordability of long-term rental accommodation has been a subject of debate.


The rise of Airbnb and similar platforms has transformed the rental landscape. Homeowners now have the opportunity to rent out their properties on a short-term basis, often earning higher rental rates compared to traditional long-term leases. This has led to a decrease in the number of available long-term rental properties in Dublin, reducing supply and driving up prices.


Many landlords find it more lucrative to list their properties on Airbnb rather than renting them out on a long-term basis. The higher rental rates that can be charged for short-term stays incentivize homeowners to cater to the tourist demand, reducing the inventory of long-term rental properties available to Dublin residents.


The impact of Airbnb is particularly significant in popular areas of the city, such as the city center and tourist hotspots like Temple Bar. In these areas, the concentration of short-term rentals can lead to a shortage of affordable accommodations for long-term residents. The reduced supply contributes to increased competition, raising rental prices for those seeking long-term leases.


Furthermore, the profitability of short-term rentals on platforms like Airbnb has also attracted investors who purchase properties specifically for renting them out on a short-term basis. This further reduces the availability of long-term rental units in the city, driving up prices due to limited supply.


The limited regulation surrounding platforms like Airbnb in Dublin has also played a role in increasing rental prices. Although measures have been introduced to regulate short-term rentals, such as registration requirements and restrictions on the number of nights a property can be rented, enforcement has been challenging. This allows some property owners to continue operating their properties as short-term rentals, further reducing the housing supply for long-term residents.


Efforts have been made to address the impact of platforms like Airbnb on rental prices in Dublin. The government has introduced new regulations and requirements, such as imposing stricter registration procedures and implementing limitations on short-term rentals in certain areas. However, the effectiveness and enforcement of these measures remain a concern.


Addressing the role of Airbnb in increasing rental prices in Dublin requires a balanced approach. Stricter regulations, monitoring, and enforcement can help ensure that short-term rentals do not disproportionately impact the long-term rental market. Promoting the availability of affordable housing for residents must be a priority to maintain a balanced and sustainable housing market in Dublin.



The expensive accommodation in Dublin can be attributed to a combination of economic factors, high demand in the housing market, a shortage of housing supply, the impact of tourism, foreign investment, rising costs of living, limited rent control measures, and the influence of platforms like Airbnb. These factors have created a challenging environment where finding affordable housing in the city is increasingly difficult.


The strong economic growth and attractiveness of Dublin as a business hub have led to a surge in demand for housing. The shortage of housing supply, coupled with the limited rent control measures in place, has allowed landlords to increase rents significantly. The impact of tourism and foreign investment has further intensified competition and driven up prices in certain areas of the city.


Rising costs of living and limited affordability have also contributed to the expensive accommodation in Dublin. The high cost of everyday expenses, combined with inflation and taxation, puts additional financial strain on residents’ ability to afford suitable housing options.


To address these issues, comprehensive measures are needed. Efforts should be made to increase the availability of affordable housing through investment in new construction and the implementation of stricter rent control measures. Policies should also balance the interests of residents and tourists, ensuring that the influx of visitors does not negatively impact the housing market.


In conclusion, the expensive accommodation in Dublin is a multifaceted issue driven by various economic, social, and regulatory factors. By addressing these factors and implementing appropriate strategies, Dublin can strive for a more sustainable, balanced, and affordable housing market that benefits both residents and visitors.