Report estimates there are almost 250,000 vacant properties

Unless the laws being introduced are deemed to be pro-Tenant, then there’s nothing simple about introducing them. There’d be outcry amongst the media/NGOs and so in a country with so little political backbone, it’s not simple and won’t happen

Well the house we’ve just moved into would be in category 4. It’s a pity they have no way of saying how many empty houses are empty because they are not currently habitable.
Anyway, ‘our bad’ for buying a house that had been vacant and on the market for over a year previously, refurbishing it and moving in, and then vacating our previous house and selling that. It’s a sensationalist headline with no real analysis into why properties might be vacant and what categories are included in that figure (e.g. refurbishment, properties going through probate, properties currently for sale etc. etc.)

If they are too pro-Tenant for example a tenant could legally stay at a property for 12 months NOT paying a cent before being thrown out

then the outcome will be less rentals, higher rents, more homeless

Completely agree, clear cut rules over renting would help both the tenants and landlords and improve situation in the market, hell they could even then get rid of that PRTB quango which does f* all as is

Census provides more proof is that there is ZERO shortage of housing nationwide.

There are instead hyper-regional shortages.

You can easily house a family in most of Ireland (by area) for €150k.

It might be culturally dead, have poor employment prospects and not-so-nice neighbours but there is no shortage per we.


The problem, people are picky :slight_smile:

The issue of vacant houses needs to be revisited again in the light of the updated and still ludicrous CSO numbers: … 6TBLE.xlsx

In 2011, the CSO says there were 2,003,914 housing units. In 2016 this has increased to 2,022,895, an increase of just 18,981.

Now, we do not know what was counted as a housing unit in 2011 – how derelict/unfinished a house must be before it is counted as an unoccupied but available housing unit.

The net increase of 18,981 in five years represents just under 3,800 new housing units per year. That is a very low number of new residential properties given the demand.

The Department of the Environment published data on new housing unit completions: … ompletions

This is based on new electricity connections by ESB Networks.

From May 2011 to April 2016, there were 51,615 new residential properties connected to the network. Of these, 10,975 were in the four Dublin councils: Dublin City, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown, Fingal and South Dublin.

So, the CSO give a net number of new residential properties of 18,981 and ESB Networks connect 51,615.

There is an obsolescence rate in residential property. Old properties are demolished. The Housing Finance Agency use an annual obsolescence rate of 0.5%.

The Department of the Environment used an annual obsolescence rate of 0.73% from 1991 to 2002, 0% from 2002 to 2006 and 0.22% after 2006. The Department of the Environment’s housing stock numbers are based on previous year’s stock less estimated obsolescence plus new connections. These are then “adjusted” (read overwritten) so they agree with the CSO’s estimate.

The rate of obsolescence depends on many factors from levels of economic activity - houses get bough, knocked down and new ones built on the same site, programmes to get rid of old stock - for example, when the seven Ballymun towers were demolished, this resulted in 630 housing units being removed from the stock. This took the best part of 10 years.

There are other estimates of obsolescence: … 2_bg_4.pdf

The Department of the Environment’s estimate of the number of residential properties is contained in: … statistics

If you combine the CSO, Department of the Environment and ESB Networks numbers, you get the following:

     Year  Residential Properties      Net New Properties    Population   New Connections   Lost Properties      Rate
      1991               1,175,871                             3,525,700            19,652
      1992               1,189,751                  13,880     3,554,500            22,464             8,584     0.72%
      1993               1,202,456                  12,706     3,574,100            21,391             8,685     0.72%
      1994               1,220,542                  18,085     3,585,900            26,863             8,778     0.71%
      1995               1,242,207                  21,665     3,601,300            30,575             8,910     0.71%
      1996               1,266,863                  24,657     3,626,100            33,725             9,068     0.71%
      1997               1,296,457                  29,594     3,664,300            38,842             9,248     0.71%
      1998               1,329,342                  32,885     3,703,100            42,349             9,464     0.71%
      1999               1,366,150                  36,808     3,741,600            46,512             9,704     0.71%
      2000               1,405,989                  39,839     3,789,500            49,812             9,973     0.70%
      2001               1,448,327                  42,338     3,847,200            52,602            10,264     0.70%
      2002               1,506,000                  57,673     3,917,200            57,695                22     0.00%
      2003               1,575,000                  69,000     3,979,900            68,819              -181    -0.01%
      2004               1,652,000                  77,000     4,045,200            76,954               -46     0.00%
      2005               1,733,000                  81,000     4,133,800            80,957               -43     0.00%
      2006               1,838,000                 105,000     4,232,900            93,419           -11,581    -0.63%
      2007               1,912,000                  74,000     4,375,800            78,027             4,027     0.21%
      2008               1,960,000                  48,000     4,485,100            51,724             3,724     0.19%
      2009               1,982,000                  22,000     4,533,400            26,420             4,420     0.22%
      2010               1,992,000                  10,000     4,554,800            14,602             4,602     0.23%
      2011               1,999,000                   7,000     4,588,252            10,480             3,480     0.17%
      2012               2,003,000                   4,000     4,627,329             8,488             4,488     0.22%
      2013               2,007,000                   4,000     4,661,400             8,301             4,301     0.21%
      2014               2,014,000                   7,000     4,692,221            11,016             4,016     0.20%
      2015               2,022,000                   8,000     4,725,035            12,666             4,666     0.23%
      2016               2,022,895                     895     4,757,965                                -895    -0.04% 

In this table, the 2016 numbers are not accurate because they just represent a partial year.

For example, at the end of 2005 there were an estimated 1,733,000 residential properties . At the end of 2006, the number was 1,838,000, representing 105,000 new properties. But in 2006 only new 93,419 ESB Networks connections were recorded, a difference of -11,581.

With information like this, it is hard to make sense of residential property numbers

These numbers differ from the DKM/Geodirectory numbers I quoted earlier in this thread.

This table shows the average number of people per property from 1991:

     Year     People/Property
      1991                3.00
      1992                2.99
      1993                2.97
      1994                2.94
      1995                2.90
      1996                2.86
      1997                2.83
      1998                2.79
      1999                2.74
      2000                2.70
      2001                2.66
      2002                2.60
      2003                2.53
      2004                2.45
      2005                2.39
      2006                2.30
      2007                2.29
      2008                2.29
      2009                2.29
      2010                2.29
      2011                2.30
      2012                2.31
      2013                2.32
      2014                2.33
      2015                2.34
      2016                2.35

This is gross figure and conceals many different trends: immigrants sharing houses with larger households, smaller families, divorce and separation creating new smaller households, and people living longer creating smaller households, more second homes not occupied for long intervals. But, the general trend is for smaller households which both increases the required number of new residential properties and changes their characteristics.

If you look at the number of new people per net new residential properties, you get the following:

     Year     New People/New Unit
      1992                    2.07
      1993                    1.54
      1994                    0.65
      1995                    0.71
      1996                    1.01
      1997                    1.29
      1998                    1.18
      1999                    1.05
      2000                    1.20
      2001                    1.36
      2002                    1.21
      2003                    0.91
      2004                    0.85
      2005                    1.09
      2006                    0.94
      2007                    1.93
      2008                    2.28
      2009                    2.20
      2010                    2.14
      2011                    4.78
      2012                    9.77
      2013                    8.52
      2014                    4.40
      2015                    4.10

From long intervals, the number of new members of the population per new property is around 1 or less. If the residential property numbers were to be believed, this would indicate building properties with no occupants and/or lots of holiday homes.

From 2011 onwards, the number of new people per new property starts to increase substantially. This would indicate previously built properties being occupied, holiday homes being converted to residential use and immigrants sharing residential properties creating larger households.

Anyway, after much rambling, I do not believe the vacant residential property numbers. I also do not believe the population and immigration numbers.

The absence of accurate and quality information makes rational analysis difficult. But that will not stop the headlines of howling outrage about the number of unoccupied properties.

What is clear is that the population is increasing substantially, there are lots of migrants and few new residential properties being built to accommodate them. This problem is most acute in Dublin where the option does not really exist to house many of these people outside Dublin.

The salient point is that obsolescence of old properties is about 6k per annum over the last 5 years. Or about 0.3 per cent.

This would strike me as actually being very low.

Bar Dublin red-bricks, I wouldn’t live in anything in Ireland built prior to 1950. They are invariably small, difficult to heat, etc.

A lot of mid-century social housing is sub-standard. I would knock it all and build bigger dwellings with smaller gardens but the heterogeneous nature of ownership makes this impossible.

In lots of countries it is perfectly possible to knock and rebuild (even attached dwellings) on your own site but the planners in Ireland make this almost impossible.

The PRTB front window operation is to arbitrate tenant/landlord relations. It’s real purpose has always been to gather data for the revenue and track peoples movement (especially foreigners) for the Gardaí/Europol. You could say it has served it’s purpose and should be closed, the revenue tapped their rainy day fund in 2013 and tracking people is more easily achieved using telecommunications and internet services.

LOL, the state can’t even COUNT the immigrants never mind track their movements.

Why the surprise? Its was launched in 2004, that’s when the referendum on Irish Citizenship happened. The government at the time had no idea who was in the country and where they were and it needed to get to keep tabs on the get rich quick buy to let landlords. You go to a country like Germany and you have to register with the local Rathaus if you move into an area, so it’s nothing unusual.

Of course there would be no properties to rent if the owners were subject to “rent control” which is exactly what you are suggesting.

I had planned to buy some property in Dublin and rent them out but between the hardship I might encounter getting rid of bad tenants and the irish govs greedy taxation rules, I decided not to buy in Ireland at all. I would have been renting out a few homes for reasonable rates and maintained them well. I like LONG term tenants thus a very fair rate to keep them there and happy…

If the rules were even close to fair I would have invested I have contacts who were willing to manage them and who I have know for many years and trust. The reason there are no rentals is owners have NO rights.

Were bedsits previously counted as individual units? Could their prohibition be driving an anomalous obsolescence rate in the 2011 to 2015 period?

On my strolls around where I live, I went looking for obvious unoccupied houses. I excluded houses for sale or sold and houses being worked on by builders. I found the following:

I have not included the house numbers.

That is probably five in a thousand.

Now maybe I am looking in non-typical areas.

While there are such houses, I cannot see how the CSO can find 20,844 vacant residential properties in Dublin City alone, excluding South Dublin County Council, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown and Fingal areas.

The four Dublin local authorities can only find about 100 derelict properties in all the four areas.

It would be a simple task of a few weeks work to match the CSO addresses of the vacant properties with addresses from other providers such as ESN Networks, Department of Social Protection, Revenue Commissioners and Geodirectory (An Post and Ordnance Survey) and the Property Registration Authority.

There is no personal data involved as the CSO did not gather any information from these unoccuplied properties.

Mr. Parmentier, thanks for your research and posts. You should take a look North of the Liffey. Also in and around Camden street, Portobello.

Here’s an old project, … k&hl=en_US
I’m sure there’s more websites similar, out there.

I think your electricity connection numbers may be skewed by the blocks of apartments Southside and around the quays, Docklands, that lay unoccupied for years, that would have had to get connected to the mains on occupation - years after fit and finish.

In more regional areas a lot of the vacant and derelict properties are in the possession of the councils.

It seems that there’s no shortage of housing, just a shortage of housing on the market. The property tax could be extended to penalise owners of unoccupied housing, without going all out communist/full civil purchase order.

I can’t see the motivation for the banks to loan out money to bring more residential property to spec, considering their current exposure to residential and commercial property.

I’m with you on not believing the figures. The error margins are off the chart as it were. As the taxpayer owns a lot of the banking industry that could be levered to get a more accurate picture of vacant and derelict properties.

A lot of the DCC vacancies are part of the interminable problem of re-developing flats complexes I would think.

O’Devaney Gardens and St Teresa’s Gardens are largely empty I believe.

Otherwise there is some tenative evidence here that the airbnb effect may be at play in certain CC locations: … ry-census/

Despite the pieties of Frank McDonald on the issue, this is unlikely to involved more than a few hundred units.

Years ago I suggested that it wasn’t the lack of repossessions in urban areas that was “breaking” the market, it was the lack of repos in rural areas. By artificially putting a floor in the market of outer commutersville, the substitution effect got broken because there was no point in moving out of urban areas in search of better value.

You might pay through the nose and be a schmuck buying in Dublin but at least you don’t spend 3 hours a day in a car, like the lad living in Gorey.

Housing turnover is actually down year on year! … 9-Aug2016/

Here is the IT’s take on the same report from GeoDirectory … -1.2750232

Gotta love the language used. ‘Left behind’ ‘recovery’!!!
Tomorrow they’ll have Kitty Holland telling us how high prices are forcing families to sleep in trees!

Yes I was able to buy a house without beggaring myself to the banks for 30 years. I feel so left behind.

the Journal comments are a fountain of stupidity as usual

increase property tax on vacant homes? nah

abolish non existant CGT on PPRs with one or two people in them just so it might entice empty nesters to sell up

why would dropping CGT entice anyone to sell if you believe you’ll get more next year