The crash still casts a long shadow. The housing shortage is at crisis levels, with the most recent figures showing there were just 3,500 properties to let in the entire country and just 2,800 properties for sale in Dublin, according to Marian Finnegan, chief economist at estate agent Sherry Fitzgerald.
“This is a market in recovery and, if everyone arrived on one day, it would be a problem,” she said. “We do have a crisis in the residential sector.”
She estimated that there were only “a couple of hundred” high-end new homes available for incoming high-rollers, including some €5m-plus penthouses at Landsdowne Place, in the shadow of the Aviva rugby stadium.
The apartment block is emblematic of Ireland’s ability to move on from its past. It is being built on the site of two hotels in the city’s Ballsbridge area bought in the boom years by a now bankrupt builder for €400m and sold on by Ulster Bank to Chartered Land and the Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund for €170m.
In contrast to London, where prices continued to go up and up after the crash, prices in Dublin are still 30-35% off their peak. On the commercial front, the situation is different, with 335,000 square feet under construction, and just 27% pre-let and 11% reserved.
Tim Payne, head of people and change at accountancy firm KPMG, said picking another city to move to may be the easy part compared with the “tough sell” of convincing London staff, and their families, to move.
Indeed, HSBC is struggling even to convince enough of its staff to make the 120-mile move from London’s Docklands to the bank’s new British headquarters in Birmingham, despite offering rewards of up to £2,500.
Meanwhile, fears that Dublin would go down the ranks of European cities because of the lack of schools have been assuaged after Nord Anglia International announced it was opening a school in September 2018 and would offer the international baccalaureate curriculum. It has yet to start enrolling pupils but has already taken more than 400 enquiries.
JP Morgan’s Dimon has played down the idea of one location inside the EU benefiting from the fallout of Brexit but he warned that could change as 75% of the activity JP Morgan conducts in the UK was for EU companies.