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This graph shows how housing supply has flatlined this decade - compared to population growth

A new report looks at housing in Census 2016.

IRELAND INCREASED ITS housing stock by 8,800 units between 2011 and 2016, compared to over 201,000 from roughly the same period a decade ago.

A Census 2016 special profile on housing in Ireland found that the country increased its housing supply by just 0.4% in the five-year period of 2011 to 2016 (from 1,994,845 million units to 2,003,645 million units).

This is in stark contrast to the change in Ireland’s housing stock between 2002 and 2006, when the number of units grew by 21.2%. In that time, housing stock increased from 1,460,053 million to 1,769,613 million.

Meanwhile, Ireland’s population was recorded at 4,761,865 in the last Census. That’s compared to 4,588,252 in 2011.

Censuspop The changes in Ireland's property stock and population in each Census. Source: CSO

The Census report looks at the different aspects of housing in Ireland as enumerated on Census night in April of last year.

The report found that a total of 2,003,645 houses and apartments were counted on Census night. Of these 1,697,665 were occupied by persons usually resident in the State (as opposed to people visiting).

There were a total of 183,312 vacant houses and apartments across the country, as well as 62,148 vacant holiday homes.

A total of 95,596 empty homes were in urban areas.

“We need politicians and policy makers at all levels to recognise that empty homes can play an immediate role in alleviating the housing and homeless crisis,” said Francis Doherty of homeless charity the Peter McVerry Trust.

CSOvac Vacant dwellings in Ireland by type of housing. Source: CSO

The area with the most vacant dwellings in the country in Blacklion, Co Cavan, where over 46% of properties are vacant.

blacklion cavan The seven counties with the highest vacant housijng rates in the country Source: CSO/Census 2016

Home ownership and rent

The report also showed a decline in the rate of home ownership in the country.

Despite the marginal increase in housing stock, the number of owner occupied households fell between 2011 and 2016 (from 1,149,924 to 1,147,552).

The rate of home ownership dropped then from 69.7% to 67.6%. This rate was last seen 1971.

The fall was evident in both rural and urban areas.

In terms of age, renting was more common than owning among adults younger than 35. After this age, more households owned rather than rented their homes.

In previous Censuses, the age after which more people owned their home was younger.

The equivalent age in previous censuses was 32 years in 2011, 28 years in 2006, 27 years in 2002 and 26 years in 1991.

The report also found that the average weekly rent paid to private landlords was landlords in April 2016 was €199.92, up from €171.19 in 2011 (a rise of over 16%).

Dublin city saw the biggest increase, with rents going up by 30%. Other areas of Dublin also saw significant increases in rent.

You can view the full housing report on the CSO website.

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Cormac Fitzgerald

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