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Press Statement

Census of Population 2022 Profile 2 - Housing in Ireland

CSO press statement, , 11am

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) has today (27 July 2023) published Census of Population 2022 Profile 2 - Housing in Ireland

Tá leagan Gaeilge den leathanch seo ar fáil. Féach Preasráiteas - Daonáireamh 2022- Próifíl 2 - Tithíocht in Éirinn.

Census 2022 results show the rate of home ownership is continuing to decline along with an increase in renters aged 65 and over

  • The housing stock increased by more than 5% to 2,112,121 between April 2016 and April 2022.

  • The number of occupied dwellings increased by 8% to 1.85 million while the number of vacant dwellings fell by 11% to 163,433.

  • The number of dwellings owned without a mortgage or loan increased by 11% to nearly 680,000 while the number owned with a mortgage or loan fell by 1%.

  • There was a significant increase in the number of households with people aged 65 and over renting from a private landlord to almost 17,000 households, up 83% since 2016.

  • The average weekly rent in private rental accommodation increased by 37% between 2016 and 2022.

  • The number of homes in the country with solar panels was 119,300, or 6% of occupied dwellings.

  • One in five households headed by someone aged 65 or over had no internet connection of any kind.

  • Just under 48,000 homes that were vacant in the 2016 census were also vacant in the 2022 census.

Statistician's Comment

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) has today (27 July 2023) released Census 2022 Profile 2 Housing in Ireland. This is the second in a series of eight thematic profiles which will provide detailed results on specific areas of Census 2022. Today’s Profile 2 presents a comprehensive picture of the housing landscape in Ireland in April 2022.  

Commenting on the results, Brendan Murphy, Statistician in the Census Division, said: “The results show that the housing stock has increased by more than 5% between 2016 and 2022. Home ownership has fallen as the number of households living in rental accommodation increased to more than half a million. There has been an 83% increase in the number of households with people aged 65 or over renting from a private landlord between 2016 and 2022. The number of vacant dwellings counted in Census 2022 has fallen by 11% since 2016. However, it must be remembered that this is a point in time measure (vacant on Census night, 03 April 2022), and included short term vacancy (dwellings for sale, for rent, renovation, owner in nursing home for example).) Looking at the number of homes that were deemed vacant during the Census 2016 and Census 2022 we can see there were just under 48,000 such properties, which may indicate longer term vacancy (For more on the definitions of vacancy used by census see Editor’s Note below).  

This Profile also provides data on characteristics of our homes such as how they are heated, whether they have smoke alarms or if renewable energy sources were being used. This new question showed 6% of occupied homes had solar panels installed and newer homes were less reliant on fossil fuels.”

Some of the Highlights of Profile 2 Housing in Ireland

Changes in Housing Stock and Type

The housing stock grew by more than 5% from 2,003,645 to 2,112,121 between April 2016 and April 2022. The number of vacant dwellings fell by almost 20,000 (-11%) to 163,433. This figure does not include holiday homes which increased by 8% from 62,148 to 66,956. It is important to note that a dwelling classified as vacant for census purposes does not necessarily imply that it is available for re-use. Census vacancy is essentially a point in time measure which may be different to other reported measures of vacancy which may focus more on longer term vacancy. For more on the census definition of vacancy see Editor’s Note below. 

Every county showed growth. The housing stock grew most in Meath and Kildare, up by more than 11% in both counties. Growth in the housing stock was slowest in Tipperary, up 2% in six years. The number of occupied dwellings in the State built between 2016 and Census 2022 was almost 90% higher than the number built between Census 2011 and 2015. The types of homes being built are changing. Between 2016 and 2022 15% of homes built were purpose built apartments, compared with only 3% of such homes built between 1971 and 1980.

Housing Tenure (Owning and Renting)

The rate of home ownership continues to fall. It was 66% in Census 2022, down from 68% in 2016, and almost 70% in 2011. Census 2022 shows that by the age of 36, more than half of householders owned their home (with or without a mortgage or loan). This age, which marks the changeover between home ownership and renting, has been increasing over time, up from 26 years in 1991, 27 years in 2002, 28 years in 2006, 32 years in 2011, and 35 years in 2016. In Census 1991, the age at which two-thirds of the householders owned their homes (with or without a loan) was 28 years. By the time of Census 2022, this age had risen to 44. 

The number of dwellings owned without a mortgage or loan was up 11% to nearly 680,000. The number of homes owned outright where the head of the household was 65 years or over increased by 17% from 319,651 to 374,417. Every single county saw a rise in the number of dwellings owned outright between 2016 and 2022. The number of dwellings owned with a mortgage or loan decreased by 1% to 531,207. The largest falls in mortgaged properties were in Donegal (down 10%) and Tipperary (down 8%) where housing growth was slowest. There was an increase in the number of mortgaged properties in some counties, particularly where housing growth was strong, such as in Meath (up 9%) and Kildare (up 6%). 

In April 2022, more than 330,000 homes were rented from a private landlord. This was an increase of 7% since 2016. There was a significant increase in the number households with people aged 65 and over renting from a private landlord to almost 17,000 households, up 83% since 2016. For households headed by a person aged 60 to 64 years, this was up 69%.

Private Rent Increases

The average weekly rent paid to private landlords continues to increase. In 2011 it was €171, rising to €200 in 2016, and to €273 in Census 2022. Between 2011 and 2022 this equates to a 59% increase over the period, or 37% between 2016 and 2022. The highest average weekly rent in the country in 2022 was Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown at €442, while the lowest was in Donegal at €134.Outside of Dublin, Cork City (€297 per week) and Galway City (€292 per week) had the highest average rent.

Renters in Longford were paying 51% more on average in 2022 (€152 per week), while those in Louth (€233 a week), Westmeath (€197 a week), and Clare (€188 a week) were all paying 47% more than in 2016. In contrast, between 2011 and 2016, the highest increase was just under 30%.

Nationally, more than 52,000 households were paying €400 or more per week in rent to private landlords in April 2022, compared with just 13,232 households in 2016. 

In Dublin City, the number of households paying €400 or more per week in rent was almost 23,000, up from 6,775 in 2016. In Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown the number of households paying €400 or more per week more than tripled, to just under 10,000. In Fingal, more than 6,000 households were paying €400 or more, compared with just 754 in 2016. There were also large increases in Galway City, Limerick, and Cork.

Central Heating

Almost three in four homes used oil (39%) or gas (33%) for central heating. There has been a notable shift in the central heating of dwellings in more recently built homes. Almost half of dwellings built between 2016 and 2022 had electricity as the main type of fuel used for central heating, compared with just 10% of older dwellings. Oil is much less common as the main source of fuel for central heating in newer dwellings at 9%, compared with 41% of older dwellings. However, approximately one in three dwellings – both older and newer – still use natural gas to fuel their central heating.

Solar Panels

A new question on renewable energy sources was asked in Census 2022.The number of homes in the country with solar panels was 119,300, or 6% of occupied dwellings. Meath had the highest proportion of homes with solar panels at 7,629 or 11% of occupied dwellings, which is almost twice the national rate, while Dublin City had the lowest at 3% or 6,197 homes.

Smoke Alarms

Census 2022 included a new question on the number of working smoke alarms in the household. Almost 72,000 households, or 4% of occupied dwellings, had no working smoke alarms. Detached houses were more than twice as likely not to have a working house alarm as flats or apartments in a purpose-built block.

Internet Connectivity and Broadband

In April 2022, some 1.46 million households or 79% of occupied dwellings had a broadband connection, either fixed or mobile, including 107,000 households which had both. Including satellite and other connections, 1.53 million households, or 83% of occupied dwellings, had an internet connection. There was a clear difference in internet connectivity by age of the householder. One in five households headed by someone aged 65 or over had no internet connection of any kind. One in ten households headed by someone aged 60 to 64 had no internet connectivity. Conversely, just 3% of households headed by someone aged between 30 and 44 did not have internet connectivity.

Vacancy

Many properties classed as vacant in the census may only be vacant for a short period of time and for a wide variety of reasons including homes for sale, rent, new build or renovation, owner in a nursing home etc. However, there were just under 48,000 dwellings vacant both in the 2016 and 2022 censuses which could be an indication of a longer-term vacancy status.  The Census definition of a vacant dwelling is a point in time indicator taken on Census night which in these cases means that the dwellings were vacant on the census nights for both 2016 and 2022. Counties along the east coast showed lower rates of vacancy compared with more rural counties, particularly those in the northwest of the country. In Dublin, less than 1% of housing stock was vacant in both 2016 and 2022 while in Leitrim this figure was 6%. In the State overall, 2% of housing stock was vacant in both 2016 and 2022. For more information on the census definition of vacancy, please see the Editor’s Note below.

Editor's Note

Vacancy Definition:

  • The definition of a vacant dwelling used by Census is: A dwelling is classed as vacant by census enumerators if it is unoccupied on Census night, is not used as a holiday home and is not usually inhabited by occupants who are temporarily absent at the time of census. A dwelling being classified as vacant for census purposes does not necessarily imply that it is available for re-use.
  • The Census definition of a vacant dwelling is a point in time indicator taken on Census night as to whether the property was inhabited or not on Sunday 03 April 2022. Census vacancy should not be used as a measure of long-term vacancy nor compared directly with vacancy figures produced by other sources which may use different definitions or methodology. A dwelling could be classed as vacant if it is unoccupied because it is up for sale, under renovation, or because it is an uninhabited rental property. The Census vacancy definition has been used over several censuses which enables comparisons over time.
  • Holiday homes are not part of the vacant dwellings count.
  • Dwellings under construction and derelict properties are also not included in the count of vacant dwellings. Dwellings which are classified as under construction for the census are not yet habitable as they are missing one or more of items such as their roof, windows, or doors. Derelict dwellings are not habitable because they are run down, boarded up, or generally in a poor state of repair. Our FAQ on Vacant Dwellings has more information.
  • The housing stock is defined as the total number of permanent residential dwellings that were available for occupancy at the time of census enumeration. In this report, the housing stock consists of permanent private households (inhabited by both usual residents and visitors), holiday homes, vacant houses or apartments, along with dwellings where all the occupants were temporarily absent on Census night. However, communal establishments, temporary private households (e.g. caravans and mobile homes), along with dwellings categorised by the enumerators as being derelict or under construction are excluded from this definition.

Other Information:

  • The census took place on Sunday, 03 April 2022. The census population figures relate to the de facto population which means everyone who was present in the State on the night of Sunday, 03 April 2022. The de facto population includes those who do not usually live in the State but were in the State on Census night. It excludes those who do usually live in the State but who were temporarily absent outside of the State on Census night.
  • Profile 2 is the second in a series of eight themed reports on Census 2022. The remaining profiles are listed below and will be published between 31 August 2023 and 19 December 2023:
    • Profile 3 - Households, Families and Childcare
    • Profile 4 - Disability, Health and Carers
    • Profile 5 - Diversity, Migration, Ethnicity, Irish Travellers, and Religion
    • Profile 6 - Homelessness
    • Profile 7 - Employment, Occupations and Commuting
    • Profile 8 - The Irish Language and Education

Contacts

Kathleen Goulding (+353) 1 895 1413
Tony Downes (+353) 1 895 1319
Email censuspublicity@cso.ie
Emailpressoffice@cso.ie

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