28,000 new homes a year needed to keep up with population growth – ESRI
Overall, 28,000 new houses will be required to be built each year over much of the next two decades if the country’s housing needs are to keep step with population growth, according to new research from the Economic and Social Research Institute.
The ESRI also found that up to 33,000 new homes will be required each year if immigration is higher than expected.
The report, funded by the Department of Housing, Local Heritage and Government, looks at the likely growth of the population, based on assumptions around the future trends in mortality, fertility and migration.
Over the period to 2040, it is thought that life expectancy for men will improve from 79.3 to 83.3 years, while for women it will increase from 84.3 to 87.1 years.
Fertility rates though are predicted to drop from 1.8 to 1.6 over the next decade and then remain steady from that point on.
A net inflow of 15,000 or more people through migration is projected if a “business as usual” scenario continues.
In these circumstances, the ESRI calculates that the population will rise by 926,000 from 2016 to 2040.
This will result in the total population reaching 5.665 million. But if net immigration were to reach 30,000 a year, then the population could top 6m by 2040.
If it were 5,000 or more a year though for a short period before increasing to over 15,000, then the population could settle at 5.554m.
When all the factors are taken into account, the analysis finds that 28,000 new homes will be needed each year in the “business as usual” scenario.
That would rise to 33,000 if net immigration is higher, and fall to 26,000 if migration is lower than expected.
Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, Meath, Kildare and Cork City are the local authority areas where demand for new housing is set to be highest relative to their population shares while Mayo and Fingal will see lower levels of demand, the report predicts.
The analysis finds the east and midland regions will see the fastest population growth, with Dublin having the highest population share and the mid-east the fastest growth.
Previous estimates from both the ESRI and the Central Bank of Ireland predicted around 30,000 new homes were needed each year to keep pace with requirements.
This year the Government expects between 16,000 and 18,000 will be built, because of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on construction.