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empty shells

These are the regions with the most 'ghost estates' still left half-finished

Over three-quarters of all unfinished estates have people already living in them.

Mark Stedman / Photocall Ireland Mark Stedman / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

OVER THREE-QUARTERS of all housing projects classed as unfinished have people already living in them – but the number of “ghost estates” across the country has dropped significantly since 2010.

The government today published its latest update on unfinished housing projects, which revealed the total number of the estates across the country had fallen to 992 this year. That figure is down nearly two-thirds on the number 4 years ago.

During 2014 some 1,263 developments – containing nearly 100,000 dwellings – had been inspected and 271 were taken off the list as being “substantially complete”.

Of the remainder, a worrying 681 sites out of the 766 that were at least partially occupied were declared “inactive”, which meant that there was no construction work still being done when they were inspected.

Across all the unfinished developments this year, 30,709 dwellings were finished and had people living in them, while 4,453 were complete but sitting empty.

Some 29,168 units hadn’t been started and 12,027 were still in various stages of completion.

The latest figures also revealed Cork County was the council region with easily the most unfinished developments, at 130.

Ghost Housing Estates Mark Stedman / Photocall Ireland Mark Stedman / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

Here are the top 6:

1. Cork County, 130

2. Kerry, 67

3. Donegal, 64

4. Roscommon, 53

5. Wexford, 52

6. Cavan, 51

Occupied estates are still the focus

Junior minister Paudie Coffey, who published the updated report, said he wanted to resolve as many unfinished projects as possible – with a particular focus on those that already had residents.

Forums on Homelessness Crisis Housing Minister Paudie Coffey Mark Stedman / Photocall Ireland Mark Stedman / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

He said local authorities had already used €6.75 million from the budget’s Special Resolution Fund to finalise developments and the remaining €3.35 million would be allocated next year.

Some 86 sites around the country were expected to be dealt with using the money, including 23 partially-finished developments that were scheduled for demolition.

Economic think-tank ESRI has previously identified about 180,000 extra housing units will be needed across Ireland by 2021 – although using existing, vacant dwellings could cut this figure in half.

The majority would be needed in Dublin, where only 10 developments remained on the unfinished database after the latest survey.

READ: House prices in Ireland are rising faster than anywhere else in the world >

READ: A quarter of rental tenants in Ireland are afraid they’ll lose their home >

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