Does Ireland really have a housing crisis?

2017 ESRI Ireland housing crisis
26/10/2017. New Social Housing. Pictured (LtoR) Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy TD An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD attending the launch of the Social housing units which are being developed by the Royal Hospital’s Voluntary Housing Association, called RHD Housing in Beech Hill Terrace in Dublin. Photo: Sam Boal/

Sales of houses in Dublin top €3bn as ESRI says Brexit will increase population by a million

By Bernard Purcell

The cost of buying or renting homes in Ireland continues to soar further and further out of the reach of ordinary people, newly released figures revealed last week.

At the same time a major economic forecast by the ESRI predicted that Ireland’s population will increase by more than a million in a little over a decade – mainly because of Brexit – increasing pressure on housing and health care.

But the outgoing boss of Ireland’s Housing Agency has said that there is no crisis just panic mongering by developers and “too many” homelessness charities receiving hundreds of millions of euros of taxpayers money that would be better spent on getting people into homes.

2017 ESRI Ireland housing crisis

Upward pressure on prices has become so great that two independent financial advisers and private equity fund managers have started looking for investors among the UK’s Irish community to fund the restoration of ghost estates in the Midlands and Munster.

In Dublin house sales topped €3bn in first half of this year alone, according to the Irish properties for sale site, That was an increase of 14.6 per cent compared to last year’s €2.6 billion, €2.4 billion in 2015 and €1.7 billion in 2014. Almost 300 homes in Dublin were sold for more than €1 million.

Key issues

The highest price paid for a house was €8.45 million, which was for 11 Shrewsbury Road in Dublin 4 (abvoe), according to the survey by Myhome. ie. There were 7,461 sales in the capital in the first six months of this year, an increase of 11 per cent on the same period last year. There were 290 houses sold for €1 million (£883,267) or more, mostly in places on the south side of Dublin like Dún Laoghaire, Monkstown, and Sandycove.

Angela Keegan, Managing Director of said: “One of the key issues for people buying properties on the outskirts of the city is the commute to work.

“While first-time buyers are increasingly desperate to buy their own homes, commuting times are increasing at an alarming rate.” She predicted that there would be 55,000 sales across Ireland in 2017, up by 17 per cent on 2016. “We badly need (the increased sales of houses) it.

2017 ESRI Ireland housing crisis
 Photo Mark Stedman/

“We are seeing some pickup, but it’s small and it’s being absorbed very, very quickly. We are seeing an increase in the number of new developments coming on but we need more.”

Dublin 15 was the busiest area accounting for most homes sold in Dublin, 751 in all, and a 20 per cent increase. The area includes Castleknock, Clonsilla and Carpenterstown, close to the M50, Blanchardstown Shopping Centre and several multinational employers. Dublin 20 reported the lowest number of sales during the six months, at just 56 but sale prices there soared by 60 per cent to an average of €334,650 over the six months, totaling €18 million.

Dublin 4 was the most expensive postcode with an average sale price of €890,450, up by 42 per cent on the same period in 2016, followed by Dublin 6 (up by 9.3 per cent) at €740,512.

The largest sale recorded in Dublin 4 was the €33.5 million sale of the Montrose Student Residence on the Stillorgan Road, The €8.45 million paid for Fintragh at 11 Shrewsbury Road sold in April was actually shy of its €9.7 million asking price.

The “cheapest” areas to buy in Dublin were in places like Ballyfermot, Coolock and Santry. In Dublin 1 five apartments on Buckingham Street sold for €10,000 each.

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