Sunday 21 October 2018

Revealed: 30,000 'phantom' homes built since 2011

Properties counted as "new homes" include halting sites, mobile homes, retirement homes, holiday villages - and even farm buildings

(stock photo)
(stock photo)

Paul Melia and Kevin Doyle

THERE are 30,000 phantom homes, supposedly built in recent years, which do not really exist - more than a year's supply.

Properties counted as "new homes" include halting sites, mobile homes, retirement homes, holiday villages - and even farm buildings.

The number of homes built since Fine Gael came to power has been massively overstated. More than one-third of the 85,154 new homes supposedly built between 2011 and 2017 don't actually exist.

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) says just 53,578 houses and apartments were built, which is 31,576 fewer than the Department of Housing stats. The 37pc shortfall raises serious concerns about the Government's ability to deliver 25,000 new homes a year by 2021, as promised.

But despite the CSO's worrying findings, the Government instead chose to focus on the fact that construction of new homes was increasing. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar predicted up to 20,000 homes would be built this year.

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy is now coming under enormous pressure. House prices are still soaring and the number of homeless families remains high.

But Fine Gael is already manoeuvring to pin the blame for any general election on Fianna Fáil if the embattled minister is ousted from office.

See Pages 4-7

Irish Independent

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