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Cork ScoreCard

Movehub Rating: 84

health care
purchase power
quality of life
cost of living
crime rate
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Moving to Cork

Source: Flickr | murielle29

The Rebel City of Cork gets its nickname from its support of the Yorkist cause during the English War of the Roses but the reputation of being different to the rest of Ireland is a reputation that has stuck and that is readily embraced by its citizens. Corkonians refer to their city as the Real Capital and attempt to outdo Dubliners in as many aspects as possible. So far they’re making a pretty good show if it.

Located in the south west of Ireland where the River Lee flows into the Lough Mahon on its journey to the Celtic Sea, Cork has been an important trading post since the Vikings dominated Northern Europe. Today the major pillars of the economy are pharmaceutical manufacture, technology and brewing: Pfizer, Apple and Heineken are all big employers in Cork.

As immigration from Europe has increased in recent years Cork has seen its cultural diversity grow and complement the traditional cultural pursuits of theatre, music, literature and hurling. 11% of the city’s inhabitants are now of non-Irish nationality. Attracted by Cork’s employment opportunities and the beauty of south west Ireland they have brought with them exotic additions to the already excellent local cuisine.

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Moving to Cork From the UK

Since Ireland is in the EU and since the Irish speak English moving from the UK to Cork poses very few problems. There are a few points you need to familiarise yourself with before hopping over the Irish Sea though.

For those of working age it will be welcome news that Cork has the lowest unemployment rate in Ireland. The financial crisis played havoc with the Irish economy which now has a statewide unemployment rate of around 13% - Cork’s is a couple of percent lower.

Source: Flickr | Mike Mulligan

For those of retirement age it will come as a relief that you can not only claim your UK state pension in Ireland but that it will increase each year just as it would have by staying at home.

House prices in Cork have been falling steadily of late. The average asking price fell by 13.2% during 2012 and is down to €161,617 (£137K). Demand is beginning to increase though so those prices could be at or near bottom.

At the time of writing prices ranged from €2.5m for a waterfront 5-bed property to €35,000 for a two bedroom property in Castlemartyr, a 30 minute drive eastwards. Stamp duty in Ireland is payable by the buyer at 9% of the purchase value (but only when it exceeds €150K).

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Comparing Cork vs London

As you’d guess from their relative proximity the climates of Cork and London are not dissimilar. Cork experiences cooler summers than the UK capital (average highs reach just 19 °C in July and August as opposed to 23 °C in London) and slightly milder winters (average lows are 3 °C in January and February as opposed to 2 °C in London). But while Cork sees almost the same number of sunshine hours as London on average (1,423) it does experience more than twice as much average annual rainfall.

The cost of living is generally much lower in Cork than in London - while the price of consumer goods are much the same, and groceries are actually more expensive, property and rent costs are significantly lower. Average salaries are nearly 20% lower than in London though.

Source: Flickr | Kenna Patrick

Corkonians, on average, report themselves as feeling safer, experiencing better healthcare, less pollution and lower commute times than Londoners.

Cork’s chief cultural attractions are the Corcadorca Theatre Company, which fostered the acting talents of Cillian Murphy among others, the RTÉ String Quartet - one of Europe’s most successful - and the annual Cork Jazz Festival which takes place in late October.