Irish housing glut

Published:  30 July, 2010

DUBLIN: House prices in Ireland fell 6.4% since the start of the year but building continues despite the slump and the glut of housing.

The Permanent TSB/Economic and Social Research Institute house price index indicated property values were now 35% below their peak in late 2006.

Work has begun on 10 942 homes since the start of 2009 with more than 7000 new homes completed this year, according to data from the Central Statistics Office. While nowhere near the boom levels of almost 90,000 units, the level of building is still extremely high considering the state of the property market.

In addition to the almost 11 000 new units, thousands more have also been granted planning permission in the past year, meaning that developers are free to begin work on new schemes.

The figures come as a new study from NUI Maynooth says more than 300 000 vacant units are dotted in 620 ghost estates across the country, with a potential oversupply of 120 000 homes.

The study from the National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis (NIRSA) found that reckless planning decisions have left one in six houses uninhabited for most of the year in 620 unfinished estates.

It is expected that many of the unsold units will be leased for social housing purposes, meaning the taxpayer could pick up the tab for the reckless pace of development. The study's author, Professor Rob Kitchin, said there was "quite clearly" no need for more homes to be built in the State in the immediate future.

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