The last few years have seen an explosion of commerce and activity in the Grand Canal Dock and the IFSC.
Ireland’s corporate tax rate has made Grand Canal Dock an attractive prospect for large multinational tech corporations. The most famous of these are Google and Facebook, which have high-profile European Headquarters in the area. This revitalisation of the dock has even spilled over into Ringsend, with the rental website AirBnB setting up their headquarters on Ringsend Road.
Controversy has already sprung up with these new headquarters. Many of these corporations are expanding, creating an influx of workers looking for accommodation. At walking distance from the docks, Ringsend is a particularly attractive location for these workers. What effect will this have on the price of property in Ringsend and for locals looking to buy in the area?
Recent events in the property market make it likely that buyers will not be priced out of the market for the near future. Although the property prices in Dublin 4 have been rising in the last few years, the property market is due to soften in the next 12 months.
According to Nigel Bennett, of Bennett Auctioneers in Sandymount, there is a number of reasons why property prices will not increase. He cites a reduction in capital gains tax that came into effect last December 31st, making property less enticing for investors. The impact of the Central Bank new loan to lending recommendations, which require buyers to have larger deposits when buying houses, will also affect house prices.
However, there has been a long-term trend of professionals moving to Ringsend to be close to work. Bennett saw the beginning of this migration, which began 12 years ago, when Ringsend became an attractive location for buyers. “In 1995, many of the apartments were occupied by older people with families. Towards the late 1990s and the 2000s many young professionals with families began to look for houses,” he said.
According to Bennett, the impact of the growth of the IFSC depends on supply versus demand. “If supply continues to increase, then we won”t see any rise; if supply slows down in six months’ time then there might be a slight rise.”
Supply will have to be large since demand seems likely only to increase over the next few years. As of 2013, Google had 2,288 employees in Ireland and recently bought a large former warehouse in Grand Canal Dock in order to expand its operations in the area. Facebook has also expanded its headquarters in 2015, while in February, AirBnb announced the creation of 200 jobs.
This all means that the one place the Grand Canal Dock expansion could most likely effect is the rental market. “Most of these employees are on short-term contracts, three to five years,” Bennett told NewsFour, “and so they are looking to rent for the most part.”
Renting in Ringsend is already an expensive proposition. The rent for a two-bed, two-bath apartment on Daft.ie begins at €1,650 per month and steeply climbs after that, reaching rates of over €2,000. Ringsend townhouses are particularly in demand, since most of the property for rent in the area is apartments, creating competition for houses with gardens.
While Grand Canal Docks has already gained the moniker ‘Silicon Docks’, some have begun calling Ringsend ‘Google Town’ for the amount of Google employees looking to live there. It remains to be seen how this will change the landscape of the rental and property markets in the area.
By Alanna O’Shea