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Thursday 8 December 2016

Let's get real over housing

Philip Farrell

Published 23/10/2016 | 02:30

Downsizer’s dream? The latest phase of retirement homes to launch at Audley Binswood, in Leamington Spa, England, offers apartments from £299,995. Extras include access to the Audley Club at the restored Binswood Hall — more five-star hotel than care home with gym, library, bar, and nursing care if needed; audleyretirement.co.uk
Downsizer’s dream? The latest phase of retirement homes to launch at Audley Binswood, in Leamington Spa, England, offers apartments from £299,995. Extras include access to the Audley Club at the restored Binswood Hall — more five-star hotel than care home with gym, library, bar, and nursing care if needed; audleyretirement.co.uk
The library at Audley Binsworth Hall
Fine dining at Audley Binsworth Hall

We hear again and again that we need 25,000 new homes a year to meet demand in Ireland. What many people forget is that that figure represents the annual demand in a normally functioning market. However, the legacy of many years of virtually no new homes being delivered is that there is huge pent-up demand and so the real figure is closer to 35,000 units; some experts would say higher. A significant percentage of demand is both location and price specific with by far the highest demand being for properties in Dublin under €400,000. This is closely followed by demand for properties under €300,000 in the other major cities and provincial towns.

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The national strategy for the delivery of new homes is too Dublin-centric. What is needed is a granular analysis of each and every urban area in the country to identify their individual housing needs for the next 15 years.

If young people are to be encouraged to remain in these regional locations, they need to have housing options. The issue with many of the regions is that it is currently not financially viable for developers to construct homes while returning a profit.

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