According to a report published by the Urban Environment Project at University College Dublin, there are no less than 345,000 empty houses or apartments in the State. This figure equates to just under 18% of all housing in the country.
This enormous oversupply of homes available in the Irish property market is a number well above recent figures released by both the National Institute of Regional and Spatial Analysis (Nirsa), based in NUI Maynooth and the Construction Industry Federation (CIF). Of course both groups defended their research with CIF stating that their 40,000 figure from the Irish Home Builders’ Association was the number of new, unsold homes in the State and did not include other categories such as second homes.
Speaking about the report Fine Gael housing spokesman Terence Flanagan said “Finally, some truth has emerged about the number of vacant homes in Ireland”. He added that this recent research truly highlighted the need for councils to refuse planning permission, “Despite these huge numbers of vacant housing, many local authorities are still granting permission for housing in areas where there is oversupply. All council planning departments must now get real and refuse planning applications for housing in areas where there is oversupply.”
The report by UCD detailed vacancy levels are much higher in the greater Dublin area at 11.5% compared with 20% in the rest of the State. Areas of Dublin with large vacancy rates include Dublin South with 8,000 empty homes (8%), Fingal with 13,000 (13%) idle properties and Dublin City with 30,000 empty units (12.5%).