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Home ownership at its lowest rate since 1971

21 April 2017

There was also a drop in the number of vacant dwellings, including holiday homes, by 15%.

According to the figures there was a considerable slowdown in the growth of housing stock, with just 8,800 housing stock built between 2011 and 2016.

Though the vacancy rate in small rural towns is quite high - Blacklion in Cavan having the highest rate where nearly half of all homes are empty.

A quarter of them were by first-time buyers and 23% were by people or investors who will not be living in them.

In regards to the 183,312 vacant dwellings, 79,966 were detached houses, 60,154 were semi-detached or terraced dwellings while the remaining 43,192 were apartments. This included 278 holiday homes.

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Nationally, by the age of 35, more people own their own home than rent, compared with age 32 in 2011.

"We believe this report provides a clear picture of some of the main developments in the Irish housing landscape over the past five years, including new analysis of vacant properties such as type of dwelling and distance to the nearest town".

"If the resources are made available it can be delivered on a much larger scale".

When it comes to renting, the number of households paying at least €300 to private landlords each week skyrocketed 166% to 48,933.

Almost half a million people were renting with 326,493 households in a lease with a private landlord, the report said.

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The figures from the CSO also show that Offaly's housing stock fell to 30,740 in April 2016 from 30,750 in April 2011, a decrease of 0.03%.

Dr Lorcan Sirr, lecturer in housing studies and urban economics at Dublin Institute of Technology, said the figure of 20.8 per cent for the number of people renting wasn't as high as he had expected, given the increase of 176,000 in population.

Focus Ireland said more urgent action is required to bring suitable vacant homes back into the market and fast-track new builds.

Focus Ireland said the Government should consider a tax on empty homes and stronger policies to stop developers hoarding land.

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Home ownership at its lowest rate since 1971