Housing report 'good news for the economy' as vacant units much lower than expected - Arch
Published: Friday, October 22, 2010
Architects have described the findings of this weeks housing survey as ‘good news’ for the economy as the numbers of empty or unfinished units is “much lower” than previously thought.
The President of the Royal Institute of Architects in Ireland (RIAI), Paul Keogh, said an estimate as high as 300,000 empty houses has been suggested in recent months. However, the key figure in the National Housing Development Survey is that 43,000 empty or unfinished units have been identified across the country.
“The findings of this survey present some much needed good news for the economy, Department of Finance and the banks. While we do have a high level of overhang of housing stock, but the level is not enormous.
“This can be put in context by the fact that an overall housing stock overhang of 7% is considered normal in a market place. 43,000 units represents approximately 4% of our national stock of 1.1 million.”
“We also have to consider that there will be a demand for housing as the ESRI has predicted that we will have an additional 0.5 million in population by 2021. This equates to a need for 185,000 additional homes,” he said.
Architects call for plan to put ‘right houses in right places’
In meeting this demand Mr. Keogh highlighted the importance of Ireland learning from the mistakes of the boom and planning to meet this demand with the right houses in the right places.
“The Government needs to ensure that we plan where these new houses are and that we build quality homes which meet future sustainability requirements and don’t require retrofitting a short time after completion. We need to plan this future using professional architectural expertise.”
Mr. Keogh concluded by saying that this report highlights the need for evidence based research on the number and condition of all state and private buildings across the country. The RIAI has previously called on Government to commission a Building Asset Register.