New Report Projects Housing Needs

A new report published today by the Government's advisory body on housing, the Housing Agency, has projected the level of housing needed across the Republic in the next five years.

The expert report forecasts a minimum required supply of 79,660 residential units in urban areas to support the population between 2014 and 2018, an average equivalent of 15,932. The per annum requirement across the country ranges from 9,526 units in 2014 to 20,853 units in 2018.

47% (37,581 units) of total supply over the five-year period is required across the Dublin Region, averaging 7,500 units per year. The figures show there is an immediate supply requirement of 5,663 units in 2014, which rises to a per annum requirement of 8,970 units in 2018.

There is a marked requirement for units in areas such as Swords (1,448 units between 2014-2018) and Balbriggan (925 units between 2014-2015).

Outside of Dublin, the study identifies varying requirements across the other cities. In Cork City and suburbs rising to a per annum requirement of 1,469 units by 2018. There are close parallels in identified requirements in Galway and Limerick. Both cities will experience a shortfall in housing requirements in 2015 and require a total of 2,316 and 2,635 units respectively over the subsequent four years to 2018.

Based on projected population growth, Waterford will have a supply requirement from 2017 (total of 739 units to 2018). Kilkenny has an immediate supply shortfall, which extends to a yearly average figure of 156 units between 2014-2018.

Elsewhere, trends highlight that some areas are adequately catered for, while other areas are not. There are pronounced requirements in settlements such as Drogheda Town (1,284 units) and Dundalk (1,088 units) over the next five years.

Athlone has an identified requirement of 492 units over the same period, Ennis, a requirement of 534 units, while Edenderry in Offaly has a requirement of 292 units. In Kerry, Killarney is the only settlement with an immediate requirement, an average of 64 units per annum are required between 2014-2018. This total outstrips identified requirements in places such as Enniscorthy and Tramore.

The study also considered household sizes into the future in the Dublin region and found that over the next four years, 57% of new households will be one- or two-persons, and a further 18% will be three-person households. Three quarters of all households over the period to 2018 will be for three people or less.

Mr John O Connor, CEO of the Housing Agency, said the principal purpose of the research was to determine the level of projected housing supply required in urban settlements over the next five years and in doing so, to identify the areas where housing pressures may arise.

"The study focuses on housing supply requirements. These are based on projections of natural growth and migration. The projected figures set out a minimum requirement for each year," Mr O Connor said.

He also said that "over half of the housing supply is required for one and two-person households. We need to look at all the housing needs in the country across the lifecycle from student accommodation, people renting at the early stages of their career, family households and older people."


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