Justin Gleeson, Peter Foley and Rob Kitchin found “there are 74 estates [which entered the national address database before December 31 2007]… where over 30 percent of the houses have been under-construction or vacant for over 2 years.”
Considering the property market peaked somewhere around December 2006, it’s fair to conclude the majority of dwellings covered in the research are likely to remain in their respective categories for some time. Why, in two years, would someone buy a house that has been unoccupied for five years, when they could get a brand-spanking-new gaff at a similar price? Of course, that thought-process assumes the property market will be on the up by 2012, as claimed by Government, thus there will be new gaffs to buy. That’s not at all guaranteed.
Furthermore, in two years time, even if the market has risen, many of the now-vacant dwellings will have been built during a period when cost of construction was extremely high. Many developers will have to take a big hit if they choose to maintain then sell their unsold properties.
It’s therefore likely a large percentage of the vacant or ‘under-construction’ dwellings will be demolished, particularly those in the more rural areas.
IAN also state “[…] these ghost estates comprise 3180 dwellings, 1287 of which are occupied, 1023 under-construction and 870 vacant”.
I’ve done some back-of-the-envelope workings in an attempt to find national figures using these percentages. 96,419 new dwellings were completed in 2006 (the year much of the dwellings covered in the IAN research would have entered the database, one assumes). That’d work out at approximately 35,000 under-construction and 15,000 vacant dwellings… then add in 2007 completions (which fell on the previous year). Note: I said back-of-the-envelope, these would be dependent on the location, size and quality of the dwellings constructed in that period – i.e. how easy they were to sell.
Also; check out the locations of the most-ghostly of the estates. Outer Galway, Longford, Monaghan, South Kerry, Roscommon… even a revived Celtic Tiger will be breathless again before it reaches there.
Of what is all this sympthomatic? Poor planning, poor tax policy.