Market News & Insights
29 January 2018

A Guide to Moving to Ireland from the UK

According to the Human Development Index, Ireland is one of the top 10 places to live in terms of human development, and it is easy to see why. Ireland is beautiful European country, where the intricate streets and land proudly tell the tale of the ancient civilisations who stood there before us. Whether you’re looking to move to Ireland for business or pleasure, Ireland offers breathtaking landscapes, and a much slower, relaxed pace of life.

If you’re living in a EU member state or the UK, you don’t need a visa to move there, and you can stay as long as you want. If you’re thinking about moving to and buying property in Ireland, we’ve put together a guide featuring a few tips and tricks to help you.


Housing prices in Ireland are slowly increasing

Over the years, Ireland has also seen a steady inflation in housing prices – with reports stating that the price of property has seen an increase of 5.4% in the third quarter of 2016. It is clear that towards the end of 2016, house prices in Ireland were rising at the second fastest rate in Europe, and the growth of this property bubble doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.

This rise is incredible, especially when you compare these figures to the 2012 property collapse in Dublin, where prices were slashed by 56%. So, if you’re looking to buy property in Ireland, now is arguably a better time than ever before – as you’ll end up with property with a higher value than what you had purchased it for (The Irish Times).


The Celtic Tiger economy is roaring again

From 1995 to 2008, Ireland was renowned for its ‘Celtic Tiger economy’ (for anyone interested, that’s Tíogar Ceilteach in Irish) ( This was due to a stretch of rapid economic growth that was charged by foreign direct investment. However, the Celtic Tiger Economy was slayed by the property bubble that saw severe economic downturn across the globe. In 2012, Ireland’s economy saw some rough times, with wages being slashed and unemployment at rose to a staggering 15.2%. To supplement their economy during the recession, Ireland borrowed an €85bn life support loan from the EU and the IMF.

Since this time, Ireland has become somewhat of an EU success story, with austerity measures helping to turn things around since they were close to bankruptcy. In 2017, unemployment is now at 6.2%, and Ireland is expected to be the fastest growing economy in Europe, for the fourth year in a row.  The Bank of Ireland forecasting GDP growth of 4.8% this year, after a 5.1% in 2016. If you don’t believe us, then just look at Dublin’s skyline. It’s littered with cranes for future projects, and michelin-starred restaurants are becoming booked up years in advance – a sure sign of increasing investment in Ireland.


You’ll still get your full UK State Pension

If you’re still looking for a little convincing when it comes to moving to Ireland as a British expat, you should remember that you will still get your full UK state pension should you retire in Ireland. What makes this even better is that your state pension will increase in value every year. This is because it is under the government’s “triple lock” guarantee, your pension will increase in line with the UK consumer prices index, average earnings, or 2.5%, depending on which one is higher.


You may not need a work permit

We’ve mentioned this before – Ireland is a member of the EU, which means that if you’re British, you don’t need a visa to go there, and you can stay as long as you like. UK, EU/EEA and Swiss nationals are entitled to work in Ireland without having to apply for an employment permit, and they must be treated in the same way as an Irish Citizen.


English is the most common language

Although Ireland’s first official language is Irish Gaelic, it is more common for people to speak English, so you don’t need to worry so much about learning Gaelic. However, if you wish to learn Gaelic, it isn’t as difficult as people perceive. Did you know, eight times as many people in Ireland speak Polish as a first language than Gaelic.


Prices in Dublin are cheaper than London

When you compare consumer prices between the UK’s capital and Ireland’s, Dublin is 0.97% cheaper than London. Alongside this, private childcare in Dublin is 23% cheaper than in London and gas electricity and water bills are 10% cheaper than in London. However, groceries such as cheese, eggs and bananas are much more expensive in Dublin.


Not everyone is entitled to full free healthcare

All people residing in in Ireland are entitled to free public health cover, but there are the two categories – full eligibility for medical card and limited eligibility. These are based on your access to means, and you should apply directly with the Health Services Executive. If you don’t want free healthcare, you also have the option of paying for private medical care. Short-term visitors who are on holiday or undertaking business transactions, may also be entitled to some health services. A European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) for EU/EEA/Swiss nationals is also there to cover most medical care as well.

With founders born in Ireland, we see the potential of moving to Ireland and can help you to transfer money to Ireland. We combine our foreign exchange expertise with a proactive approach to be our clients eyes and ears in the market, therefore removing the stress of FX for our clients. If you are a private individual looking to make move funds to or from Ireland and the rest of the world, we’re here to help.