Dr Rory Hearne | + 168,000 empty houses in the country

by Bregs Blog admin team

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In his second interesting article “Radical change of policies is required” in the Irish Examiner form October 29th 2014, Dr Rory Hearne argues that current vacancy rates show the way to a more radical, sustainable and fair housing policy. Link to article here. Dr Hearne is author of chapters on social housing in two new edited books on housing in Ireland: Renting In Ireland (IPA) and Spatial Justice and the Irish Crisis (RIA). He is also author of Public Private Partnerships in Ireland.

There are over 168,000 empty houses in the country.

If you don’t believe the numbers, and if you don’t believe that there are 17,597 vacant houses and 25,333 vacant flats in Dublin alone, scroll down to the end of the post to see a detailed breakdown county-by-county.

Extract from article:

________

“The residential vacancy rates from the 2011 census highlight the necessity of a radical change in housing and regional economic development policy.

They make it clear our housing system is fundamentally dysfunctional. We now have the scandalous and untenable situation whereby 90,000 households are defined as ‘in housing need’, and up to 5,000 homeless, and yet over twice that amount (230,056) of housing and apartments units lie vacant.

…This is because far too much of the housing built over the last two decades was done as a speculative investment rather than providing an affordable home.

…According to the ESRI, even though there will be an increase in household demand of 180,000 housing units by 2021, because of the oversupply, only 90,000 new units will need to be built. Significantly, 86% of all new build is needed in the Greater Dublin region.

…Part of the problem is that most of the analysis in the media of housing and property issues is being provided by economists and analysts with a direct interest in the property industry.

They articulate the perspectives and analysis of those who have wealth to accumulate and profit from investment in housing. They advocate policies that aim to achieve rising prices.

…There is an absence of an alternative analysis that questions for whom such price rises benefit and uses different assumptions and indicators for housing, such as fair, sustainable and balanced policies focused on what needs to be done to address housing need, separate from those seeking owner occupation.

…For example, there are 2,000 households on the housing waiting lists in Clare, yet there are 7,172 vacant properties.

It is very likely many of the 40,000 buy-to-let properties in mortgage arrears are vacant. The Government could buy these and provide them as social housing or low cost rent. It could instruct and empower local authorities to implement vacant and derelict property taxes (not just sites as proposed) or fines that would bring units in to use.

It could compulsory purchase the vacant units using funding from the strategic infrastructure fund and provide local employment and social housing. Overall, the high vacancy rates show we have to move away from a housing system based on promoting finance-led owner occupation and speculative investment and implement policies that provide genuinely affordable, high quality, long term secure housing as a home.

It also highlights the need for proper planning and regional development that can develop indigenous employment rather than an unsustainable reliance on low-tax multinationals.”

“There are over 168,000 empty houses in the country, finds Stephen Rogers

NATIONAL

  • -168,427 — vacant houses
  • -61,629 — vacant flats
  • -59,395 — vacant holiday homes
  • -1,994,845 — housing stock
  • -14.5% — overall vacancy

LEINSTER

  • -58,401- vacant houses
  • -36,702 — vacant flats
  • -11,555 — holiday homes
  • -1,030,902 — housing stock
  • -10.3% — vacancy rate

CARLOW

  • -2,287 — vacant houses
  • -632 — vacant flats
  • -283 — vacant holiday homes
  • -23,165 — housing stock
  • -13.8% — overall vacancy

DUBLIN

  • -17,597 — vacant houses
  • -25,333 — vacant flats
  • -777 — vacant holiday homes
  • -527,665 — housing stock
  • -8.3% — overall vacancy

DUBLIN CITY

  • -7,995 — vacant houses
  • -16,321 — vacant flats
  • -322 — vacant holiday homes
  • -241,678 — housing stock
  • -10.2% — overall vacancy

DÚN LAOGHAIRE-RATHDOWN

  • -2,746 — vacant houses
  • -3,750 — vacant flats
  • -120 — vacant holiday homes
  • -85,896 — housing stock
  • -7.7% — overall vacancy

FINGAL

  • -4,070 — vacant houses
  • -2,823 — vacant flats
  • -311 — holiday homes
  • -102,793 — housing stock
  • -7% — overall vacancy

SOUTH DUBLIN

  • -2,786 — vacant houses
  • -2,439 — vacant flats
  • -24 — vacant holiday homes
  • -97,298 — housing stock
  • -5.4% — overall vacancy

KILDARE

  • -4,432 — vacant houses
  • -1,691 — vacant flats
  • -188 — vacant holiday homes
  • -78,794 — housing stock
  • -8% — overall vacancy

KILKENNY

  • -3,569 — vacant houses
  • -654 — vacant flats
  • -401 — vacant holiday homes
  • -39,005 — housing stock
  • -11.9% — overall vacancy

LAOIS

  • -3,277 — vacant houses
  • -661 — vacant flats
  • -149 — vacant holiday homes
  • -32,664 — housing stock
  • -12.5% — overall vacancy

LONGFORD

  • -3,202 — vacant houses
  • -556 — vacant flats
  • -317 — vacant holiday homes
  • -18,823 — housing stock
  • -21.6% — overall vacancy

LOUTH

  • -4,207 — vacant houses
  • -1,406 — vacant flats
  • -619 — vacant holiday homes
  • -51,186 — housing stock
  • -12.2% — overall vacancy

MEATH

  • -4,311 — vacant houses
  • -1,565 — vacant flats
  • -297 — vacant holiday homes
  • -69,697 — housing stock
  • -8.9% — overall vacancy

OFFALY

  • -2,858 — vacant houses
  • -544 — vacant flats
  • -218 — vacant holiday homes
  • -30,750 — housing stock
  • -11.8% — overall vacancy

WESTMEATH

  • -3,480 — vacant houses
  • -1,141 — vacant flats
  • -300 — vacant holiday homes
  • -36,659 — housing stock
  • -13.4% — overall vacancy

WEXFORD

  • -5,840 — vacant houses
  • -1,574 — vacant flats
  • -6,915 — vacant holiday homes
  • -68,143 — housing stock
  • -21% — overall vacancy

WICKLOW

  • -3,341 — vacant houses
  • -945 — vacant flats
  • -1,091 — vacant holiday homes
  • -54,351 — housing stock
  • -9.9% — overall vacancy

MUNSTER

  • -54,958 — vacant houses
  • -14,120 — vacant flats
  • -23,807 — holiday homes
  • -561,532 — housing stock
  • -16.5% — overall vacancy

CLARE

  • n5,936 — vacant houses
  • n1,236 — vacant flats
  • n4,610 — vacant holiday homes
  • n55,616 — housing stock
  • n21.2% — overall vacancy

CORK

  • -20,123 — vacant houses
  • -5,864 — vacant flats
  • -7,342 — vacant holiday homes
  • -227,675 — housing stock
  • -14.6% — overall vacancy rate

CORK CITY

  • -3,342 — vacant houses
  • -2,766 — vacant flats
  • -60 — vacant holiday homes
  • -55,633 — housing stock
  • -11.1% — overall vacancy

CORK COUNTY

  • -16,781 — vacant houses
  • -3,098 — vacant flats
  • -7,282 — vacant holiday homes
  • -172,042 — housing stock
  • -15.8% — overall vacancy

KERRY

  • -9,860 — vacant houses
  • -1,657 — vacant flats
  • -8,202 — vacant holiday homes
  • -74,747 — housing stock
  • -26.4% — overall vacancy

LIMERICK

  • -7,133 — vacant houses
  • -2,528 — vacant flats
  • -453 — vacant holiday homes
  • -82,156 — holiday homes
  • -12.3% — overall vacancy

LIMERICK CITY

  • n1,499 — vacant houses
  • n1,764 — vacant flats
  • n10 — vacant holiday homes
  • n26,681 — housing stock
  • n12.3% — overall vacancy

LIMERICK COUNTY

  • -5,634 — vacant houses
  • -764 — vacant flats
  • -443 — vacant holiday homes.
  • -55,475 — housing stock
  • -12.3% — overall vacancy

NORTH TIPPERARY

  • -3,339 — vacant houses
  • -509 — vacant flats
  • -679 — vacant holiday homes
  • -30,790 — housing stock
  • -14.7% — overall vacancy

SOUTH TIPPERARY

  • -3,809 — vacant houses
  • -571 — vacant flats
  • -437 — vacant holiday homes
  • -38,184 — housing stock
  • -12.6% — overall vacancy

WATERFORD

  • -4,758 — vacant houses
  • -1,755 — vacant flats
  • -2,084 — vacant holiday homes
  • -52,364 — housing stock
  • -16.4% — overall vacancy

WATERFORD CITY

  • -1,787 — vacant houses
  • -1,454 — vacant flats
  • -59 — vacant holiday homes
  • -22,341 — housing stock
  • -14.8% — overall vacancy

WATERFORD COUNTY

  • -2,971 — vacant houses
  • -301 — vacant flats
  • -2,025 — holiday homes
  • -30,023 — housing stock
  • -17.6% — overall vacancy

CONNACHT

  • -35,964 — vacant houses
  • -7,041 — vacant flats
  • -12,232 — holiday homes
  • -259,726 — housing stock
  • -21.3% — overall vacancy

GALWAY

  • -12,204 — vacant houses
  • -3,160 — vacant flats
  • -3,457 — vacant holiday homes
  • -111,177 — housing stock
  • -16.9% — overall vacancy

GALWAY CITY

  • -1,887 — vacant houses
  • -1,685 — vacant flats
  • -183 — vacant holiday homes
  • -33,655 — housing stock
  • -11.2% — overall vacancy

GALWAY COUNTY

  • -10,317 — vacant houses
  • -1,475 — vacant flats
  • -3,274 — vacant holiday homes
  • -77,522 — housing stock
  • -19.4% — overall vacancy

LEITRIM

  • -3,463 — vacant houses
  • -573 — vacant flats
  • -1,490 — vacant holiday homes
  • -18,128 — housing stock
  • -30.5% — overall vacancy

MAYO

  • -10,194 — vacant houses
  • -1,582 — vacant flats
  • -4,454 — vacant holiday homes
  • -65,792 — housing stock
  • -24.7% — overall vacancy

ROSCOMMON

  • -5,630 — vacant houses
  • -640 — vacant flats
  • -1,062 — vacant holiday homes
  • -31,585 — housing stock
  • -23.2% — overall vacancy

SLIGO

  • -4,473 — vacant houses
  • -1,086 — vacant flats
  • -1,769 — vacant holiday homes
  • -33,044 — housing stock
  • -22.2% — overall vacancy

ULSTER (part of)

  • -19,104 — vacant houses
  • -3,766 — vacant flats
  • -11,801 — holiday homes
  • -142,685 — housing stock
  • -24.3% — overall vacancy

CAVAN

  • -5,325 — vacant houses
  • -952 — vacant flats
  • -1,000 — holiday homes
  • -33,711 — housing stock
  • -21.6% — overall vacancy

DONEGAL

  • -11,048 — vacant houses
  • -2,312 — vacant flats
  • -10,636 — holiday homes
  • -83,918 — housing stock
  • -28.6% — overall vacancy

MONAGHAN

  • -2,731 — vacant houses
  • -502 — vacant flats
  • -165 — holiday homes
  • -25,056 — housing stock
  • -13.6% — overall vacancy rate”

Other posts of interest:

Room for improvement on social housing policy 

S.I.9 – Where are we now? 27 October 2014

12,000 social + affordable houses at no cost to taxpayer?

Want to live in Dublin? | Only the wealthy need apply!

SI.9 costs for a typical house

SI.9 to Cost €532m in 2014 | Residential Sector 

Commencement Notices – Update | 22 October 2014

A ‘perfect storm’ for housing? 

Residential construction down in 2014 Q1+ Q2: (CSO statistics)

Karl Whelan: “…raft of cost-increasing building regs are at least partly responsible”

How much would 100% independent inspections by Local Authorities cost?

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