The DEHLG have announced their unfinished estates survey in the last hour.  We’re presently looking over the data and preparing some maps which we’ll hopefully post later on.  In the meantime we thought it would be useful to detail some key statistics relating to the housing crisis in Ireland given that there has been much confusion to date with different data often being conflated.  In the absence of a census in the last year, all the figures, with the exception of the unfinished estates, are estimates using models.

1) Total housing stock – the total number of residential units in the country (which includes obsolete property, holiday homes and investment properties)

At end of 2009 – 1.96m units (DEHLG, estimate)

2) Total number of households – the total number of occupied units in the country

At end of 2009 – 1.63m (CSO, estimate)

3) Vacancy, including holiday homes – an estimate of the total number vacant units in the country, including holiday homes calculating using 2006 census data and projected household growth/new mortgage data

3 main estimates for up to 2009: DKM/DEHLG: 301,682-326,685;   NIRSA: 338,031;   UCD: 345,116

4) Vacancy, excluding holiday homes – an estimate of the total number of vacant units in the country, excluding holiday homes

3 main estimates for up to 2009: DKM/DEHLG: 228,206-253,209;   NIRSA: 252,029;   UCD: 280,596

5) Potential oversupply – the number of units above an expected base vacancy rate (a certain proportion of housing stock will always be empty in any housing market); the number of units in excess of this base vacancy rate are considered to be an oversupply in the present market

3 main estimates for up to 2009: DKM/DEHLG 122,029-147,032 (using a 6% base rate); NIRSA 120,248 (using a 6% base rate); UCD: 171,178 (using a 5% base rate)

6) Unsold houses – total number of unsold, brand new units in the country (this along with secondhand houses – c.50,000 – constitute the present the housing market)

2 main estimates: Construction Industry Federation (Nov 2009) 35,000 to 40,000; DEHLG: 33,226 (23,250 complete, 9,976 nearly complete; +9,854 where construction has started)

7) Unfinished estates – the number of unfinished estates in the country, where an unfinished estate is defined as an estate that has 2 or more houses where development and services have not been completed and estates completed from 2007 onwards where 10% or more of units are vacant

Number of estates as of mid-2010: 2,846 (DEHLG); 429 active

Number of units in these estates: 121,248

Number occupied: 78,195

Planning permission for an additional: 58,025

8 ) Ghost estates – a particular class of unfinished estate consisting of 10 or more units, where 50% or more of units are vacant or under-construction, built from 2005 onwards

Number of estates at end of 2009: 620 (NIRSA etimate)

Number of units in these estates at the end of 2009: 19,262 units (including 11,670 vacant; 3,823 under-construction)

Rob Kitchin and Justin Gleeson

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