The recent Central Statistics Office (CSO ) Profile of Housing in Ireland showing a considerable slowdown in housing stock growth between 2011 and 2016 is in sharp contrast to official figures for roughly the same period from the Department of Housing, Planning, Community & Local Government.
This is according to the Institute of Professional Auctioneers & Valuers (IPAV ). The organisation has called for a transparent national housing register.
Pat Davitt, IPAV’s chief executive, said the CSO report finds housing stock grew by just 8,800 or 0.4 per cent between 2011 and 2016, but the Department of Housing figures are considerably higher.
“Department of Housing figures show new dwellings in the five years from April 2011, to April 2016, to be 51,329,” he said. “The CSO has confirmed to us that there were 33,436 new builds recorded in the five years to April 2016, when the census was taken and a net housing stock growth of 8,800.
“There is a difference of 17,893 between the two figures for new builds in the five-year period. There have been severe doubts about the Department of Housing figures for some time because they are based on connections to the ESB grid. That housing policy could be based on such suspect figures is astounding.”
Mr Davitt said that the lack of housing for sale has been evident to IPAV members throughout the country for some time.
“The Minister and the Government need to dispense with the Department’s figures as a true measure of new builds and bring in a proper, transparent housing register, and do so immediately,” he said.
“The economy demands a much greater supply of homes - for both rental and purchase. That demand is growing in intensity with supply continuing to fall well short of the 25,000 to 30,000 units required annually. Daft.ie estimates that demand could be as high as 50,000 units a year.”
Mr Davitt also said it would be a mistake to blame the Help-to-Buy scheme for house price increases.
“The lack of housing stock is the biggest factor impacting house prices,” he concluded.