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More than three in four private households in rural areas live in detached houses

The most popular dwelling type for private households in 2016 were detached houses, and this was especially pronounced in rural areas. Detached houses accounted for 42.1% of dwellings nationally, while in rural areas this proportion was above 75%. The smallest proportion of detached houses was 12.3% in ‘Cities’, where semi-detached houses accounted for 34.9% of all dwellings.

Nearly seven in ten flats/apartments (68.8%) were in ‘Cities’ in 2016 with just 4.4% in rural areas.

Based on stated year built, houses in rural areas were more likely to be older. About 13% of houses in ‘Highly rural/remote areas’ and ‘Rural areas with moderate urban influence’ lived in dwellings built before 1919. In contrast, 3.6% in ‘Satellite urban towns’ were built before 1919 and 36.3% since 2001.

Before 19191919 - 19451946 - 19601961 - 19701971 - 19801981 - 19901991 - 20002001 - 20102011 or laterNot stated
State8.36.57.46.812.610.114.225.426.7
Cities7.47.410.89.713.39.812.617.81.59.9
Satellite urban towns3.62.73.35.213.410.119.234.12.26.2
Independent urban towns5.15.56.46.511.58.816311.48
Rural areas with high urban influence10.76.25.24.512.710.814.229.33.13.3
Rural areas with moderate urban influence13.27.86.44.811.810.812.527.12.53.2
Highly rural/remote areas13.58.57.15.411.811.412.624.123.7
Show Table: 5.1 Types of property by area type, 2016

One in four households in ‘Cities’ and ‘Independent urban towns’ lived in privately rented accommodation

Households in rural areas are more likely to own their dwelling outright, i.e., with no mortgage. Owner occupiers accounted for 36.0% of private households in the State but this proportion was 51.8% in ‘Highly rural/remote areas, 49.2% in ‘Rural areas with moderate urban influence’ and 44.4% in ‘Rural areas with high urban influence’.

‘Satellite urban areas’ had the highest percentage of owner occupiers with a mortgage or loan at 40.6%, followed by ‘Rural areas with high urban influence’ at 40.4%. The smallest proportion of owner occupier households with a mortgage or loan was 25.3% in ‘Highly rural/remote areas’.

One in four households in ‘Cities’ (24.9%) and ‘Independent urban towns’ (24.0%) rented privately from a landlord, the highest proportions for this type of occupancy.

CitiesSatellite urban townsIndependent urban townsRural areas with high urban influenceRural areas with moderate urban influenceHighly rural/remote areasState
Not stated4.42.53.122.12.43.1
Occupied free of rent1.111.42.22.42.81.6
Own with mortgage/loan27.940.626.740.43425.331.6
Owner occupied without loan/mortgage29.72729.944.449.251.836
Rented from Local Authority10.57.713.42.54.37.68.4
Rented from Private landlord24.920.3248.47.79.518.2
Rented from Voluntary/Co-operative housing body1.40.91.60.20.40.71

Three in ten households in ‘Highly rural/remote areas’ had no internet access

Internet access was available to 78.5% of households in 2016 but this proportion varied widely across the country. ‘Satellite urban towns’ had the highest percentage at 85.9%, while the lowest was 67.8% in ‘Highly rural/remote areas’.

‘Satellite urban towns’ had the highest proportion of households with broadband access at 81.2%, compared to a State average of 70.7%. Internet access other than broadband was most likely in ‘Rural areas with moderate urban influence’ at 13.5% of households, above the State average of 7.8%.

About three in ten households living in ‘Highly rural/remote areas’ (29.6%) had no internet access, compared to just one in ten households in ‘Satellite urban towns’ (11.7%).

Show Table: 5.2 Percentage of households with broadband by area type, 2011-2016

Yes, broadband internet accessYes, other than broadband internet accessNo internet accessInternet access not stated
State70.77.818.43.1
Cities78.14.113.64.2
Satellite urban towns81.24.711.72.4
Independent urban towns68.76.921.43
Rural areas with high urban influence66.412.319.12.2
Rural areas with moderate urban influence5913.525.12.4
Highly rural/remote areas55.712.129.62.6

Increase in new dwellings but strongest growth in urban areas

Census data provides a snap shot of the type of dwellings in Ireland. However, it is also interesting to see how many new dwellings have been completed, using the New Dwellings Completions series from the CSO, which is available since 2011.

There were 18,018 new domestic dwellings built in the State in 2018, nearly four times more than the 4,575 built in 2011. The strongest growth was in ‘Satellite urban towns’, with 3,948 new dwellings in 2018, about 13 times higher than the 2011 figure of 295.

In contrast, the number of new dwellings in ‘Highly rural/remote areas’ only increased by 32% between 2011 and 2018, from 787 to 1,043.

Just over 70% of the new dwellings built in 2011 were in rural areas, but by 2018 this pattern had reversed, and more than 70% of new dwellings were built in urban areas.

Show Table: 5.3 New dwelling completions by area type, 2011 - 2018

Difference in new dwelling completions
Cities6204
Satellite urban towns3653
Independent urban towns1674
Rural areas with high urban influence1168
Rural areas with moderate urban influence488
Highly rural/remote areas256

Dwellings built as part of schemes dominate in urban areas

Between 2011 and 2018, 69,034 domestic dwellings were built, of which 31,875 were built as part of a scheme, 28,605 were single dwellings and 8,555 were apartments.

Of all the dwellings built in a scheme, 40.7% were in ‘Cities’, while the largest share of all the single builds was 37.5% in 'Rural areas with high urban influence’. The vast majority (78.0%) of all apartments were built in ‘Cities’.

Show Table: 5.4 New dwelling completions by dwelling and area type, 2011 - 2018

There were 18,018 new domestic dwellings built in 2018 - 10,982 in schemes, 4,688 single dwellings and 2,348 apartments. The largest proportion of schemes were ‘Satellite urban towns’ where they accounted for 92.0% of all new builds, compared to just 13.4% in ‘Rural areas with moderate urban influence’.

Single units accounted for 85.1% of new builds in ‘Rural areas with moderate urban influence’, in contrast to just 4.1% in ‘Satellite urban towns’, Figure 5.5.

SingleSchemeApartment
Cities4.3794536817102168.126484560570127.4940617577197
Satellite urban towns4.1286727456940292.02127659574473.8500506585613
Independent urban towns11.625794732061877.293369663941911.0808356039964
Rural areas with high urban influence70.199452483378927.68869769260852.11184982401251
Rural areas with moderate urban influence85.117493472584913.44647519582251.43603133159269
Highly rural/remote areas83.892617449664413.80632790028762.30105465004794

Nearly four in ten new dwellings built in 2018 were in Dublin

Of the 18,018 new dwellings completed in 2018, 6,736 (37.4%) were in ‘Cities’ and 5,575 of these were in Dublin. The county of Dublin accounted for nearly four in ten (38.3%) of all new dwellings in 2018.

CitiesSatellite urban townsIndependent urban townsRural areas with high urban influenceRural areas with moderate urban influenceHighly rural/remote areas
Border0023863295372
Dublin55751184014610
Mid-East0228077071213126
Midlands0122914916161
Mid-West2524810427518598
South-East1643250828528678
South-West606331209603222180
West13972144324251228

Median residential property prices in 'Cities' are nearly three times higher than in the most remote areas in 2018

The regional pattern of residential property prices in recent years can also be examined for the years 2010 to 2018.

The median price for residential property was €249,999 in 2018, with the highest prices in ‘Cities’ at €336,000, followed by €288,847 in ‘Satellite urban towns’.

The lowest median price was €125,000 in ‘Highly rural/remote areas’, followed by €152,000 in ‘Rural areas with moderate urban influence’, (see Table 5.5).

It should be noted that median prices are not appropriate for measuring the evolution of property prices as the mix of houses sold in different periods can change over time, see CSO's Residential Property Price Index for details.

Show Table: 5.5 Residential Property Price by area type, 2010-2018

2018
Cities336000
Satellite urban towns288847
Independent urban towns160000
Rural areas with high urban influence244999
Rural areas with moderate urban influence152000
Highly rural/remote areas125000
State249999

One in three dwellings purchased in a city in 2018

There were 44,304 residential dwellings purchased in 2018, of which 16,629 (37.5%) were in ‘Cities’. Only about 8% of purchases were in ‘Highly rural/remote areas’ and in ‘Rural areas with high moderate urban influence’, (see Figure 5.8).

Two out of three apartments were purchased in ‘Cities' in 2018

There were 7,292 apartments purchased in 2018, and 63.2% were ‘Cities’ while 16.3% were ‘Satellite Urbana towns’. Only 5.0% of all apartments purchased in 2018 were in rural areas.

Houses

Just over 70% of the 37,012 houses purchases in 2018 were in urban areas. ‘Cities’ accounted for 32.5%, followed by 19.6% in ‘Independent urban towns’ and 18.5% in ‘Satellite urban towns’.

Show Table: 5.6 Residential Property Price and volume by broad building and area type, 2010-2018

CitiesSatellite urban townsIndependent urban townsRural areas with high urban influenceRural areas with moderate urban influenceHighly rural/remote areas
All 201039.317.718.110.57.66.9
All 201837.518.118.910.27.77.6
Apartment 201067.417.611.22.10.51.2
Apartment 201863.216.315.51.71.32.1
House 201035.417.71911.78.57.7
House 201832.518.519.611.98.98.7

Median property prices compared to median household income

Median property prices were five times higher than the median gross total household income in Ireland in 2017, see Tables 4.3, 5.7 and Figure 5.9. Price to income ratios were above the State average in ‘Cities’ at 5.6 and ‘Satellite urban towns’ at 5.4. The lowest price to income ratio was 3.6 in ‘Highly rural/remote areas’ and 'Independent urban towns'.

Show Table: 5.7 Gross median household income compared to median property prices by area type, 2017

Price to income ratio
State5.01851811268655
Cities5.62610512779296
Satellite urban towns5.39223518133887
Independent urban towns3.62624173242422
Rural areas with high urban influence4.84174471953824
Rural areas with moderate urban influence4.33029714797671
Highlt rural/remote areas3.64738684995461

Rent burden highest in 'Cities'

The rent burden was highest in ‘Cities’, where the average rent was 31.0% of disposable household income, and lowest in ‘Rural areas with moderate urban influence’ at 23.9%. The average rent burden in Ireland in 2016 was 29.0%, (see Table 5.8 and Figure 5.10).

The rent burden is calculated using rent paid and the disposable income of tenants, which is defined as household gross income less social insurance and taxes.

% of household disposable income
State29
Cities31
Satellite urban towns29.2
Independent urban towns25.4
Rural areas with high urban influence25.7
Rural areas with moderate urban influence23.9
Highly rural/remote areas25
Show Table: 5.8 Average rent as a % of household disposable income of tenants

Proximity to services longer in rural areas

The CSO released a new report called 'Measuring distance to everyday services in Ireland' on 27th November 2019. This provides insight into how close or far away dwellings are from everyday facilities. The official road network from Ordnance Survey Ireland (OSi) was used to calculate the shortest path distance between a point of origin (a dwelling) and a destination (for example a bank, garda station or a bus stop).

In general, the more urbanised areas have shorter distances to everyday services. For example, the average distance to a public bus stop in ‘Highly rural/remote areas’ at 7.1km is 17 times longer than the average distance of 0.4km in ‘Cities’. The average distance to a train station in ‘Highly rural/remote areas’ is 47.3km, 14 times longer than in ‘Cities’ at 3.3km.

The average distance to a HSE adult emergency department is 20.1km in Ireland, with the shortest average distance of 4.4km in ‘Cities’ and the longest of 45.0km in ‘Highly rural/remote areas’.

There are a few exceptions to this rule, for example the average distance to an emergency department is 23.6km in ‘Independent urban towns’ compared to 23.5km in ‘Rural areas with high urban influence’. Also, the average distance to a post office is 4.2km in ‘Highly rural/remote areas’ compared to 4.7km in ‘Rural areas with moderate urban influence’.

Note that the distances calculated are based on the shortest routes using the public road network and that the time taken for the journey is not available.

Show Table: 5.9 Average distance (km) of residential dwellings to everyday services, by area type

CitiesSatellite urban townsIndependent urban townsRural areas with high urban influenceRural areas with moderate urban influenceHighly rural/remote areasState
Primary school0.8112.42.52.31.5
Outdoor sports facility0.70.90.92.73.13.41.7
Supermarket/convenience store0.70.80.84.24.95.42.3
Post office1.11.31.34.54.74.22.5
Public bus stop0.4124.15.97.12.7
Pharmacy0.70.90.95.366.52.8
GP0.81.21.15.45.85.63.1
Garda station1.921.55.25.45.43.2
Secondary school1.21.91.677.68.23.8
Library1.82.61.77.68.110.14.5
Primary and secondary road network2.94.72.75.76.59.54.7
Fire station33.82.399.410.35.5
Bank1.62.82.28.810.614.35.5
Swimming pool1.74.33.49.31215.86.3
Garda station open 24/72.35.75.211.413.620.48
Train station (including DART)3.37.815.416.324.747.315.7
HSE adult emergency department hospital4.417.223.623.531.64520.1
HSE maternity hospital623.824.726.632.54522.1

View tables on Statbank