Within Dublin’s business environment, the availability of finance is growing. Enterprise Ireland runs one of Europe’s largest venture funds and a number of venture capitalists have offices in the city. Tech infrastructure is also distinctly superior to Dublin’s major tech competitors in Europe. Average broadband speeds, at 41mbps, while well below those in Asia (in Singapore and Hong Kong they exceed 100mbps), are faster than those in London and Berlin (both at 26 mbps).
The global reach of the city is also important. Dublin is an historic, well-established and even famous city. The international language of business (English) is spoken and internationally recognised legal and business practices prevail. Dublin’s annual Web Summit is Europe’s largest tech conference and is recognised as one of tech’s most important annual networking events. It played host to more than 20,000 attendees from over 100 countries in 2014
The spectacular fall in residential and commercial values in the city have also helped to make it more competitive in terms of property costs. For an employee living in the city, rental costs have remained largely flat since 2008. For those looking to buy, prices are still 39% below their 2006 peak and rank second lowest per square foot (after Mumbai) of all twelve Tech Cities. Capital values for a representative group of employees are approximately a third of those in London and less than a quarter of the values in Hong Kong.
For commercial occupiers, office rents, although rising, still stand 25% below their 2008 levels. Demand in this sector is for smaller premises in the city centre so take-up of smaller, more flexible workspaces above shops and ‘on the street’ is increasing. This space, in the heart of an old city, cannot be created easily except in circumstances where underused buildings can be regenerated or where infill sites can be redeveloped so we expect more rental growth.