Dublin's rising rents and house prices causing brain drain, says executive recruitment firm

Dublin's rising rents and house prices causing brain drain, says executive recruitment firm
Áine Brolly.

The rising cost of rents and property in Dublin is driving C-level business leaders out of Ireland, according to executive search firm Ardlinn.

According to Ardlinn, C-level leaders are professionals with aspirations to become Chief Executives, Chief Operations Officers, Chief Financial Officers, or Chief Technical Officers.

The firm highlighted recent research which shows that in places such as Blackrock in the capital, workers need to be earning around €165,000 a year just to buy the typically priced house in that area.

Ardlinn Founder and Director, Áine Brolly, said the cost of living in Dublin will create significant lack of workplace talent within five years.

With Dublin property prices rising by more than 12% in the last year, Ireland’s capital is now rated in the top 14% of the world’s most expensive cities.

They said that the high house prices, and the associated cost of living, are driving out low to medium earners and medium to high earners.

Ms Brolly, who previously worked as Senior Vice President in San Francisco’s Silicon Valley for Invest NI, said: “On speaking to some of Ireland’s top businesses, there is a growing concern that within 5 years, finding the next generation of C-level talent will be a much more difficult task than it has been previously.

"When you look at where the majority of FDI and big business is based in Ireland, it is largely Dublin centred. The problem with that is middle management, and talented professionals, one or two rungs below C-level are being priced out of the market and are increasingly considering options elsewhere.

"Having seen this occur first hand in San Francisco’s Silicon Valley, where costs forced investors and talent to relocate, I am concerned Dublin could suffer a similar fate."

"We have yet to realise the full extent of this issue here, and whilst policies such as new allowances on building height restrictions, tax breaks for landlords and restrictions on short-term lettings are all positive moves, their implementation must be accelerated. We need to support our business leadership cycle by skilling and preparing our next generation of leaders, not forcing them out.”

She added that the sharp increases in property prices and rents are not being matched by jumps in wages. Household rents are rising at their fastest annual rate since 2007, with house prices doubling since 2012, and now well in excess of levels recorded 10 years ago.

She also said that many businesses are facing the reality of a 14% rise in rental properties from 2017 to 2018 which are placing significant pressures on businesses based in Dublin and discouraging new investors from Ireland’s capital.

Ms Brolly said: “The rising cost of properties in Dublin is creating serious risk for employers and employees alike. A key reason for big business and FDI basing themselves in Dublin has been access to our indigenous talent which has been nurtured through academia and then workplace development.

"The concern for many companies now is that the investment required to train and develop employees for C-level is not being rewarded, with an increasing number now seeing their future elsewhere as they reach their mid to late twenties.”

- Digital Desk

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