WHILE the shortage of housing is still very acute in Clare, 464 new residential units were built in the year up to the end of June, according to the latest GeoDirectory Residential Buildings Report.
The bi-annual report is based on GeoDirectory’s database of over two million residential building records.
The 464 addresses amounts to 0.8 of the county’s overall housing stock, and is actually a poorer outcome than in the previous 12 months.
During the second quarter, work was underway on the construction of 22,390 buildings in the country, with 439 of these in Co Clare.
This means the county has approximately 2% of the State’s construction activity. The county has a slight increase (2%) in housing commencements in the 12 months up to June.
The GeoDirectory research shows a 6.3% vacancy rate in Clare, higher than the State average of 4.2%. Some 9.7% of units in the county are holiday homes.
It found that there were 1,116 residential property transactions within the county in the 12 months up to May, with 7.6% of these relating to new homes, with an average property price in Clare of €233,065.
The report found that there is pressure on housing right across the country.
“For the first time since 1851, the Irish population has exceeded 5.1 million as a result of increased inward migration and a similar natural increase.
“These changing demographics have an impact on housing demand, which is projected to require an average of 33,000 new homes per annum until 2030 compared with 20,473 completions in 2021.
“Despite the pressing demand for homes, rising house prices appear to be putting home ownership out of the reach of many first-time buyers, who are faced with ever increasing rents.
“A number of recent initiatives to accelerate supply will promote the construction of new homes as well as the refurbishment of vacant homes in small towns and villages.
“The Government’s new First Home Shared Equity Scheme which will see the State take up to a 30 per cent equity stake in a property will support first-time buyers purchasing new homes, in addition to the existing First Time Buyers Grant.
“The activation of vacant properties is a key initiative of the Housing for All Plan, and the Croí Cónaithe (Towns) Scheme will support the refurbishment of vacant houses, enabling more sustainable living.
“While vacancy rates remain high in the West and in rural areas, it has been observed that they have fallen at a faster rate than vacancy rates in urban areas.
“With average house prices rising in the urban centres, the possibility of remote working may continue to stimulate moves to non-urban areas and have a positive impact on the refurbishment of vacant units.
“Equally, measures to encourage the return some of the 21,897 derelict units to the housing stock would positively impact the housing markets in the counties located along the western corridor.”