Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The Lights are off and there’s nobody home.

Astoundingly, enumerators undertaking the latest census have stumbled across 275,000 vacant homes.

The Irish Independent (19.6.06) reported that 300,000 homes across the country will not be included in the latest census because there was no one at home to accept the census form.

‘Following inquiries among neighbours, postmen and women and apartment block management companies, the vast majority of those dwellings - some 275,000 - were identified as being vacant.’

The government uses the data collected in the Census to inform policy decisions, such as infrastructure development, education and health care provision, strategic and local land use policy, even constituency boundaries. The census asks questions regarding the composition of housing accommodation; number of bedrooms, type of utilities, floor space etc. It seems that following the completion of the census we will have very sketchy or no information on 15% of the housing stock, (that 15% is sufficient to house 800,000 people based on the average household size by the way). So the census of 2006 will be unsound, more a sample than a census.

But a much more disturbing aspect of the discovery of these tens of thousands of ‘ghost homes’, is the revelation that we have more homes than we need. The housing vacancy rate in the UK is about 3% and falling while In Ireland it is 15% and probably rising (given that we will churn out an additional 90,000 units this year). It matters not one jot, incidentally, how many of these properties are available and on the market to buy or let. The fact is that they are there and can arrive on the market at any time.

More proof, if proof were needed, that our country is in the grip of a speculative asset bubble, that is now approaching Tulipmania magnitude.


Anonymous said...

Those weren't real houses. They were sets from "The quiet man", I swear.

Duplex said...

275,000? better add Ryan's Daughter, The Field, etc. etc etc. (;

Open Window said...

Excellent find, this is truly nuts. Rather ominous in light of Berties little tantrum.

I always reckoned rented accomdation was over 200K or hgiher mark. So I reckon we could have over 500K houses composed of rental & vacant properties.

Can you email article link to me, OW. Cheers

Duplex said...

I've mailed that article OW, but just in case.

I read that Bertie had a denial fit today Lol. You think 500,000 rental and vacant units? I'll see if I can get figures on rentals.


Anonymous said...

Bertie threw a wobbler on this today, so I put some follow up information here :) GB

Anonymous said...

There may be an explanation for a substantial portion of this, being due to the fact that the enumerators inability to communicate with non-english speakers. I know for a fact (the enumerator admitted it when I handed over my form that she could not get any census from most of the foreigners in the area.)
I know there are properties that are empty, but I have an idea that they choose the convienient option.

Anonymous said...

She could'nt get any census or maybe sense?

Anonymous said...