'300,000 homes laying empty'


DKM published this report on their own website and it was also published by the department of environment who funded it. I understand all the information is in the public domain and that the Minister did not receive a ‘special’ appendix not in the public domain. I must confess that I had not read it.

environ.ie/en/Publications/S … 120,en.pdf

Whether Finneran understands it or not is another matter. Even if he does his constituency is ground central for empties and the whole of Roscommon FF was inextricably tied up with the property lunacy of the past 10-15 years.

It does not differ hugely from my figures or NIRSA.

DKM states that a natural figure of empties is 6% of the stock ( that would be nearer 120,000 than the 106,000 they mention BTW), They then look at EXCESS vacancies over that figure which is valid. Ireland never had LESS than 6% of the housing stock empty during the past 50 years , not even at its modern low in the 1979 census which I recall at being around 7%.

So the 100k or 140k mentioned by Finneran is IN ADDITION to the 106k ‘natural’ level.

DKM also note that Country Toms lot have 35k units unsold. On page 42 of 137

They also note ( same page)

After that we are could get into a right squabble as there are small difference between us thereafter and because there is always room for ‘interpretation’ …even in economics :slight_smile:

Of note is that DKM estimated housing stock at 1.954m in April 2009 but the ESB stated 1.981m at end 2008. That is nearly 30k units which seems a bit large to me especially when the correlation was better in 2006 between the total number of houses in the census ( April) and the

This discrepancy in the total housing stock* is worthy of investigation* and would imply more empties out there. The source for that ESB information is a CER Report HERE

DKM note correctly that

Which is why a geodirectory base that counts a unit as a wall plate is not a good idea compared to an ESB connection…the latter implying at least a roof and windows. The methodology used by Geodirectory is important, what is an address as distinct from what is a building.


I eventually came around to the idea that tens of thousands of houses need to be knocked down :frowning:
It was a hard realisation for me to come to. I know alot of ye said it straight away but all that energy, time, materials put into so much. What a sickening waste.

There is simply no use for alot of the housing built out west. Not in this lifetime anyway!


If the quality was half-decent, you could knock two together and make fine big houses with attached work spaces.

The quality is, in many cases, shite.


Not to mention the environmental damage and pure waste. :unamused: Wonder what the greenies have to say about the scandalous waste of resources their FF buddies lorded over?


Most would probably disintegrate if you tried it.


You sir, have a bet. The pint that rock3r owes me is riding on it.

I say that you can knock a hole or two in the partition wall… where to try it?

We also need to try it on apartments… :blush:


Shite is relative.
One of the reasons so many have died in Haiti is cuz their build quality is even shiter.
But charity begins at home.
So how about we start dismantling our empties brick by brick and export them for reassembly in Haiti, and write off the whole cost against our overseas aid budget.
Repeat as other disasters occur until the stock of empties is reduced to zero.
Crazy scheme? Maybe not.


Interesting in working out the demand that there seems to be a consensus that it is around 30k units.

AFAIK about half of new houses are bought by FTBs with the balance movers and investors. Hard to see the investors demand recovering, in fact they will be deleveraging increasing supply.

To be honest, with not knowing how many empties, what the demand will be, what actual prices are, what rents will be, how many will emigrate, how and when the banks will start lending, I really havnt a fucking clue anymore.


I have a rough guide to prospects which is.

Cities (and environs in commuter belts) run out in about 3 or 4 years
Significant towns like Athlone (and environs in commuter belts) about 5 or 6
Prime Tourist areas about 7 ( Kerry and West Clare and West Connemara and Clew Bay) . Large dispora of emigrant families from those areas too don’t forget.
North Midlands…never unless we knock a scatter of them.
Rural Non Tourist and Non Commuter areas …10+ years supply.

But we cannot form policy without vision and honesty and we will not get any of that from Finneran and his Roscommon FF mates. Policy will have to include demolition.

Otherwise we could consider renaming Drumsna to Drumtroit and also consider twinning Tulsk with East St Louis and Courtown with Port au Prince to find a market for dem mobile homes.


Anecdotal of course but it’s funny you should mention Finneran and his Roscommon FF mates as word up in Monaghan is that a large chunk of the 7M senator Francie O Brien ( FF) got from Fingers in INBS was invested in a housing development in Roscommon.


This is what Francie declared for end 2008, can’t spot it. Up to his oxters in property but not in Roscommon !!!

O’BRIEN, Francis

  1. Occupational Income ……… Farmer/Landlord: Corwillan, Latton, Castleblayney, Co. Monaghan.

  2. Shares ……………………… Shares: (i) Farmer Business Developments PLC. (ii) FBD Holdings Ltd., Irish Farm Centre, Bluebell, Dublin 12: financial intermediation except insurance and pension funding.

  3. Directorships……………… Nil.

  4. Land ………………………
    Farmland at Corwillan/Edenforan, Latton, Castleblayney, Co. Monaghan: farming;
    Farmland at Creve, Latton, Castleblayney, Co. Monaghan: farming;
    Partnership in land at Scotshouse, Clones, Co. Monaghan: farming and development;
    Land at Carrickmacross: development;
    Lands at Stradone, Co. Cavan: development;
    Partnership in land in Cavan Town: development;
    Land at Drumfaldra, Latton, Co. Monaghan; farming;
    Land at Inniskeen, Co. Monaghan: development;
    Land at Magheracloone, Co. Monaghan: development;
    Partnership in lands in Ballina, Co. Tipperary; development;
    Lands in Laragh, Castleblayney, Co. Monaghan: development;
    Lands at Cavanagarvan, Corcaghan, Co. Monaghan; development;
    Partnership in Lands at Crossmolina, Co. Mayo: development;

29 Greenfields, Newcastle, Co. Galway: letting;
39 and 40 Thornberry Square, Clonee, Dublin 15: letting; 7
and 8 Bramley Gate, Muckno Street, Castleblayney, Co. Monaghan, letting;
Clones Road, Ballybay, Co. Monaghan: letting.


With continuing estimates and forecasts for empties, overall stock, completions, etc, anyone want to start taking stabs at number of demolitions p.a. over the next few years?

I guess some places that aren’t completed will be leveled and not make it into any stats (bar NAMA records). Is there any info on starts in Ireland (like in the US?); will we be able to see roughly how many starts don’t made it to completion?


I think that Homebond and Premier Guarantee data are used by the stockbrokers are proxies for new builds. As far as I know they do not take in to account one-off dwellings and as such are not entirely reliable.


Maybe the current ratio between one-offs and the rest could act as a guide? Or, although this one would be messy, collated figures on planning permissions granted (maybe less lapsed PP apps)?

Anecdotally, I saw a one-off with Homebond stickers on the windows round SoCoDu.


One offs are very messy. They are normally not homebonded and account for 60% of new builds nowadays.

Around where I live quite a few one offs only appear in ANY statistic when Geodirectory ‘finds’ them. That is because they feck them up and connect to mammy next door for the lekky and water.

5 years later they apply for retention and more often than not they get it. The house is therefore lived in before it appears in any statistic.

Even if they don’t get retention the council cannot make them knock it down anyway once the roof is on for 5 years. Galway County Council was always utterly crap at enforcement and even more so if you were politically connected :frowning:

As for commencement and completion certs, these are not enforced even if you do get permission to build.


OK - The following data come from Merrion Capital.

Homebond apparently accounts for 75% of registration data with Premier Guarantee accounting for the rest.

registrations in Dec = 151 (-75% YoY)

registrations in Nov = 273

registrations in Oct = 374

Back in 2004 to early 2007 monthly registration data ranged from 3k to almost 8k at the peak.

As for the ratio of one-offs to the rest - I have not got a clue.


And are the ests for completions in 2010/11 including or excluding one offs?

ETA: completion figs c10-12k



+1 We should all email a copy of this report to every editor that publishes a shill piece.


INCLUDING one offs, they have always been important.

I think the next stage is to do it county by county for the whole state.

Even then the property market is highly localised … Donegal is a holiday home destination for the north as much as anything else. Connemara for Dublin . South West Cork for Cork and Dublin.

In Galway there are 4 sub markets

  1. The holiday home market in west connemara which will pick up when south Dublin picks up.
  2. The City
  3. The City commuter belt out to 20 or 25 miles .
  4. The rest ( ouch)

Recovery in each sector shall be temporally asymmetric… to coin a phrase.


Recovery is what is happening at the moment!