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Housing Stock

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Ireland's housing stock in 2016

A total of 2,003,645 houses and apartments in the State were enumerated in the 2016 Census.

Of these, 1,697,665 were occupied by persons usually resident in the State, while 9,788 were occupied by guests or visitors.

There were 50,732 dwellings where all the occupants were temporarily absent on Census Night.    

Vacant holiday homes accounted for 62,148 housing units. 

The remaining 183,312 were vacant houses and apartments, of which 140,120 were vacant houses and 43,192 were vacant apartments. 

The overall vacancy rate in 2016, including holiday homes, was 12.3 per cent. If holiday homes are excluded from the housing stock the vacancy rate drops to 9.4 per cent.

Note that the housing stock excludes non-permanent dwellings such as caravans and mobile homes as well as 4,140 communal establishments.

For a fuller description of the housing stock and other terms used in this report, see Background notes.
Vacant holiday homeVacant house/flatTemporarily absentOccupied

Interactive table: StatBank Link E1068

It's a Fact

  • 2,003,645 - The total housing stock in Ireland in April 2016
  • 8,800 - The increase in housing stock from 2011 to 2016


Considerable slowdown in housing stock growth 

While the total housing stock grew by just 8,800 (0.4%) between 2011 and 2016, the number of permanent occupied dwellings rose by 48,257 (from 1,649,408 to 1,697,665) over the same period. 

The vacant housing stock (including holiday homes), which totalled 289,451 in 2011, fell by 43,991 to 245,460 dwellings in 2016, a decrease of 15.2 per cent.

As shown in Table 1.1, the small increase in the housing stock contrasts sharply with the growth of 225,232 dwellings recorded between 2006 and 2011.

The earlier intercensal period of 2002-2006 had the highest recorded growth in the housing stock with an increase of 309,560 housing units.

Change in housing stockChange in population
1991 - 199698699100368
1996 - 2002201105291116
2002 - 2006309560322645
2006 - 2011225232348404
2011 - 20168800173613
Table 1.1 Changes in Housing stock and population, 1991-2016
Census yearHousing stockPopulationHousing stock changePopulation change% Housing stock change%Population changeDwellings per 1,000 pop% Change dwellings per 1,000 pop
19911,160,2493,525,719    329 


Building stock 

Table 1.2 provides a breakdown of buildings by the number of housing units.  The 2,003,645 dwellings which comprise the Irish housing stock were located in 1,775,475 residential and partly-residential buildings in 2016. 

Over 97 per cent of these buildings had one dwelling only while 49,546 multi-dwelling buildings housed 277,716 units; this represented 14 per cent of the housing stock at an average of almost six dwellings per building.

The most populated building in Census 2016 contained 372 dwellings and was home to 882 persons.

Table 1.2 Breakdown of building stock by number of dwellings, 2016
Number of dwellings per buildingNumber of buildingsNumber of dwellingsPopulation Population per building
> 1009515,12628,342298.3

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