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ESRI report suggests 28,000 homes will be needed each year in line with population growth

DUBLIN: A recent research study suggests some 28,000 new homes will be needed each year for the next 20 years to keep up with population growth. Research conducted by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) reveals that the estimated number of houses is linked to current population growth expectations.

As construction delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is expected that only 17,000 homes could be built in Ireland this year.

ESRI predicts that the population will increase by 926,000 (0.7%) per year, to 5.67 million between 2016 and 2040.

The study also found that the number of homes required annually could rise to 33,000 or fall to 26,000 per year, with higher or lower levels of international migration at +30,000 or +5,000 net migration per year compared to the current +15,000 rate. Under these conditions, the total population of Ireland would rise to a high of 6 million or a low of 5.56 million, according to ESRI.

The research report says that housing policy has a significant impact on local housing demand now and in the future, given the number of housing units required and the areas in which they are needed. ‘Our research shows that around 28,000 new houses a year are necessary to keep with population growth,’ report author Adele Bergin said.

Analysis on life expectancy shows that it is expected to increase from 79.3 to 83.3 years for men and from 84.3 to 87.1 years for women. And the fertility rate is expected to fall from 1.8 to 1.6 by 2031.

Relative to their population shares, the research expects higher levels of housing demand in Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown, Cork city, Meath and Kildare and comparatively lower levels of demand in Mayo and Fingal.

“Economic conditions in the regions determine how the population moves within Ireland’. Higher wages, higher employment or lower house prices in a county can encourage internal migration, make a county’s population grow faster and lead to increased housing demand,” report author Abian Garcia-Rodriguez said.

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