Given the high rental prices, should you buy an apartment in Ireland when you have a career opportunity? Many French people work in Ireland, especially at Apple or Blizzard in Cork: I was part of it until 2010 and my brother still lives there.
Why this attraction?
Economic living conditions in France and Ireland
The median standard of living in France according to INSEE was €21 in 726, or €2019/month.
In Ireland, it was €26, or €250/month:
Moreover, the unemployment rate in Ireland is historically lower than in France.
It was less than 5% in 2020 compared to more than 7% in France during the same period:
When I was a student, I saw a report by Capital on M6 where a young woman landed 3 interviews and a job the day after her studies.
After having worked 2 years in a bank without much pleasure and without much remuneration (between 1 and 250€ net per month in 1 with bac +450 :)), I ended up trying my luck too... and finding a job in the afternoon.
At the time I lived in Elancourt in the Yvelines, with a rent of 700€ for my T2. So I wasn't horrified when I discovered the rents there… but they take into account the standard of living.
It will therefore be more difficult to own a property in Cork (average price of €320) or Dublin (€000) than in County Donegal:
Given the favorable job prospects in the main cities, prices are tight and it is likely that you will start with a roommate, the time to validate your period and to have a first raise as soon as you have proven yourself.
Most local companies offer a modest starting salary but a "career plan" to retain employees. The job will not necessarily be scalable but at Blizzard, for example, there was provision for 1 additional day off per year of seniority up to +5 maximum, as well as an increase between 1 and 5% depending on the employee's performance.
In addition, you will often benefit from additional advantages: gym subscription, discounts on company products, mutual insurance, retirement plan with company contribution... The system is quite unbeatable for young people and single people.
As soon as you have children, the system will be more financially neutral compared to France since a crèche/school costs approximately €800/month per child.
This is reflected in the ranking of countries by Human Development Index (HDI):
The HDI is calculated from 3 elements:
Gross domestic product (GDP) per capita.
The life expectancy of the citizens of the state.
The level of education measured from 15 years and over.
Without being a “declineist”, I was surprised in 2007 to see the reality of the standard of living in Ireland compared to France… and Spain is now ahead of us.
Given our school performance, it is unlikely that the trend will reverse... Which may encourage you to make your life in Ireland. Let's see how to accommodate you ;).
Finding accommodation in Ireland
The most popular site for finding accommodation remains daft.ie.
If this is a first purchase and your knowledge of renovation is limited, I advise you to:
Choose an apartment over a house. The apartments are cheaper to buy and naturally isolated because they benefit from common walls with the other apartments. Particularity: a town house adjoining on 2 sides is often not very sexy… but that already makes 2 insulated walls.
Choose a recent residence ; the more recent the accommodation, the better its insulation, electricity and plumbing standards; its fresher structure will also require less work in the long term. Prefer D+ apartments but don't agree to overpay for a property just because it has a good rating.
What goods can you aim for?
I did a quick search on Daft, on the city of Cork which I know well.
Here are the first 2 apartments with a good energy rating. The largest (82m²) is in the small suburbs, the smallest (45m²) in the city center:
I assume that you have managed to earn the average salary in this “big” city, which is €2/month.
In France, you could borrow around €165 with this salary:
Will an Irish bank follow you?
Financing of a property by an Irish bank
I used the services of PermanentTSB when I lived in Ireland. They are careful: you will not have a payment card for 6 months / 1 year.
They apply the same logic for loans: you must first show your credentials. You should already have a sum of at least 10% of the price of the property to be eligible for a loan at their home.
According to their simulator, with the average Irish salary, you could borrow €91 over 854 years:
With your 10% contribution, this corresponds to buying a property of €102.
Where the simulator is interesting is in the calculation of additional costs:
In France, you pay the transfer duties (80% of the costs) and the notary's fees (20% of the costs). The average fee on a property is just under 8%.
In Ireland you will have to pay:
Stamp charges (1% of the price).
Legal fees: your lawyer (solicitor) will take care of the "papers".
Registration fees to validate the transfer of ownership.
The total of these costs on a property of €102 amounts to €060, or… 2%.
No purchase of real estate without prior savings
I tested the simulator of another bank, AIB.
The proposed amount is €84 over 227 years, with a desired contribution of €25!
It is therefore not the same philosophy as in France where I have often succeeded in borrowing the full price + the costs for the purchase of a property (“110%”).
How to borrow more and buy faster?
Some obvious "hacks" but worth remembering:
Living modestly in shared accommodation.
Do not go out too much, avoid bars, cook your own food.
Advance your career.
More income for more cash aside. Work more to earn more ;).
To pair up.
Or buy with his/her best friend. Saving money is the guarantee of a solid friendship or love :p.
Sublet one or more rooms of the apartment.
Some banks take income generated from rentals into account for the credit limit.
But here we go for 25 years of shared accommodation;).
Finance the property with a French bank?
Possible if you have a property in France on which the bank could take a guarantee.
You will notice that the Irish banks do not bother to detail the rates, the nature of the credit (fixed/variable rate) and the total cost. From experience, the difference is not very noticeable in monthly payment after 20 years but the total cost explodes; it seems to me preferable to set a limit of 25 years.