Mapped: How Much Should You Earn to Live in Different Parts of Dublin?

We all know that rents in Dublin have risen steadily over the past few years.

But how much, exactly, should you earn each hour to be able to pay to rent an affordable one-bedroom apartment in different parts of the city?

By “affordable” we mean it wouldn’t cost more than 30 percent of your pre-tax income.

To calculate that, we took figures from the Private Residential Tenancies Board’s (PRTB’s) average rent dataset for the average rent in each postcode during the third quarter of 2015.

Then we did the maths, based on the assumption that people work 35.7 hours a week, which was the average usual hours according to data released last June by the Central Statistics Office.

Note: For D10, the figures weren’t available, and D22 is only for Clondalkin.

Original base map by Stabilo Boss used under CC BY-SA 3.0 license. Modified by Karen Vaughan.

Hours of Work: Renting On Minimum Wage

For some that might work.

But if you’re living on minimum wage, at €9.15 per hour, and don’t have any extra supports, it would take some long, hard hours to make enough. Here’s how many hours a week you’d have to work at minimum wage to meet that 30-percent-on-rent guideline.

Top of the table: it would take 109 hours of work a week, if you wanted to rent the average one-bedroom apartment in D4, and not spend more than 30 percent of your income on it.

Opt for D11 or D22, and it would be 80 hours a week. That’s still more than double the average usual hours worked a week.

Original base map by Stabilo Boss used under CC BY-SA 3.0 license. Modified by Karen Vaughan.

Monthly Wages

If you’re one of those people who know your monthly pre-tax pay packet, rather than your hourly wage, here’s a map to show what you’d need to bring in.

Original base map by Stabilo Boss used under CC BY-SA 3.0 license. Modified by Karen Vaughan.

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Lois Kapila: Lois Kapila is Dublin Inquirer's editor and general assignment reporter. She covers housing and land, too. Want to share a comment or a tip? You can reach her at [email protected]

Reader responses

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at 24 February 2016 at 10:27

“… not spend more than 30 percent of your income on it.”
Is it a joke?

Based on this more than half of house in the city would be empty! Please come back to reality!

at 24 February 2016 at 10:55

I dont think min wage workers generally aim to afford a 1 bed apt to themselves in any capital city, a map with average room rate in 3/4 bed house or 2 bed apt would be beneficial

Darren Cowzer
at 24 February 2016 at 11:50

Around Europe – the average spend on accommodation is about 30% which gives people money to spend on food / travel / healthcare / Education / Socialising and Family Activities – Ireland is a Disgrace – average worker earns just 26k and has next to no money left after having paid basic bills, Ireland has the second highest % of low paying jobs in the OECD ( as measured by 2 / 3 of the Average industrial wage ) – vote for change – vote #Right2Change!

at 24 February 2016 at 12:50

on a 30% rent guideline i would need 5333.00 after taxes to live in D5.

at 24 February 2016 at 14:27

I have always thought I was doing okay if I could find somewhere to rent that was about a third (so 30 – 35 percent) of my take-home pay rather than my pre-tax pay. Of course like another comment said, that has always been in house shares rather than renting a place on my own which I think is typical for a lot of people, especially in a capital city.

It would be interesting to see what the maps look like with tax taken into consideration. Obviously it is impossible to work out for every eventuality but could do a few common household formations. One way that government policy could tackle the housing crisis is by looking at tax allowances and other similar measures to create a more equal society.

Lois Kapila
at 24 February 2016 at 14:28

A comment from a reader by email, posted with permission:

“I just wondered if you compared the PRTB’s figures for “average rent in each postcode during the third quarter of 2015″ to the reality of what is being offered on Daft and My Home.

I recently took my landlord to a PRTB adjudication because the rent on my one bedroom apartment in Dublin 8 was to be increased from €1100 to €1800 a month. When the adjudicator was trying to asses market value in the area she called out what, according to the PRTB was the rent for a one bed in Dublin 8, the figure was around the €900 mark. She straight away dismissed this figure and looked at actual rents being charged on daft etc. We all agreed that the figures provided by the prtb weren’t even close to reality, and irrelevant.
Therefore looking at your article, I would love to see a new analysis based on the reality of rents in Dublin.

The outcome of my case was €1550 for a one bedroom in Dublin 8. It’s in the nicer part and bigger than most. But for the €900 a month, being what the PRTB thinking average rents for a one bedpan my area, this would be the cheapest in the area, quite rare, and in most cases closer to a bed sit.

I really like the idea of the information illustrated in a map but I think the situation is a lot worse and the PRTB figures are not to be relied on and do not represent the truth of the matter.”

at 24 February 2016 at 14:39

Any chance you could redo this using figures as the first comment suggested??

Lois Kapila
at 24 February 2016 at 14:42

@Chris: Hi Chris, It definitely would be interesting to see if there’s any difference and, if so, by how much. I’ll take a look and see whether it’s feasible and how long it would take me.

at 24 February 2016 at 17:49

What about the rest of the country?

at 24 February 2016 at 18:27

Census says the average urban rental property is a house with four main rooms; maybe a flat in Dublin but probably still four rooms like kitchen, living, bedrooms. That’s a lot for one person and indeed the average number of tenants per private rental is two (though not always both earners).

at 24 February 2016 at 19:47

Really interesting article. But wondering what the basis is for choosing 30% as affordable. Is there an agreed metric?

Aidan Smoker
at 25 February 2016 at 01:43

This is an interesting article. We all know that there is a problematic mismatch between what people in Dublin earn and what they have to pay for accommodation. This indicates, in a clear way, what the level of mismatch is.
The “affordable” number of 30% of pre-tax income spent on rent is entirely sensible:
(If anyone thinks it isn’t it’s only because they have grown to accept the problem). More than that, using the Daft data would only make the numbers worse.
Something has got to give and it won’t involve people suddenly getting paid lots of money.

Lois Kapila
at 25 February 2016 at 09:37

@Joe: Hi Joe, I chose the 30 percent threshold as “affordable” because that is the traditional measure used by housing departments and agencies. I’m not sure to be honest what the origins of the figure are. I think it might have come out of the US, and criteria for public housing programs there, and then been picked up in other parts of the world. I’ve heard officials here cite it as a figure they look at, too.

at 25 February 2016 at 23:43

@Joe: In Denmark, the concensus is that your rent sould be max. a third of your income. After tax though, we pay an absolute min. 40% tax. The 30% is just a good housekeeping rule if thumb taught to kids even. Whether people always follow it or not, is a different thing.

at 26 February 2016 at 00:45

@Damien: It’s just it’s called the Dublin inquirer

at 30 August 2017 at 16:21

30% of your income for accommodation is the golden rule , but not happening in Ireland. For a nice 3 bed house you probably pay around 2,000 p.m in Dublin and you need to earn 6,600. Good luck !

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