Friday 20 October 2017

Using Eircodes could provide new property data to address the crisis

Pádraig Dalton: ‘Fragmented data sources’. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Pádraig Dalton: ‘Fragmented data sources’. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Paul Melia

Paul Melia

Using Eircodes to identify properties would help provide better data on house completions, vacancy rates, prices and average rents, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) boss Pádraig Dalton says.

The statistical agency will recommend that any information collected around housing should capture the Eircode to help identify long-term trends and improve data sources needed to help address the crisis.

The CSO is helping the Department of Housing to compile more accurate statistics on new house completions following concerns that the existing system of using ESB connections is not accurate.

This is because existing homes where a meter is replaced can be recorded as being 'new', even though they may have existed for some time.

Mr Dalton said that there was a wealth of data sources available, but they were "fragmented" and were not linked.

"You've building energy regulations data, the Building Control Management System (which notes commencement data), data from the ESB on usage of energy, and the same with gas.

"There's property registration data, and data from the Residential Tenancies Board, but it's not linked.

"An individual data source has a value, but when you can bring them together, the insight that can be provided increases exponentially.

"The data infrastructure is not complicated.

"It's simply a method of us bringing these data sources together in a careful and safe way, which protects the privacy of individuals and confidentiality.

"If you take all the various data sources, and they all capture the Eircode, you could easily link them. It's a fairly easy job to do.

"We can only make this recommendation for public sector bodies, and would recommend they capture the Eircode for anything related to housing."

Irish Independent

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