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2016 National Housing Survey

The ‘ghost’ estates of the past are largely gone, if not forgotten


Minister for Housing and Urban Renewal Damien English TD, today (21st March 2017) published the fifth annual progress report and seventh housing survey on tackling the issue of unfinished housing developments.  This reveals an “85% drop in the unfinished developments since 2010 from nearly 3000 to 420.  2016 alone saw the resolution of 248 developments”.

Minister English was speaking at the launch of the report that includes the results from the 2016 National Housing Development Survey which tracks progress on unfinished housing developments since 2010.  Among the key findings of this year’s survey are:

  • 85% decrease in the number of unfinished developments over the last 6 years;
  • 248 developments resolved in 2016;
  • 420 unfinished developments remaining;
  • 2,000 units currently being utilised for social housing purposes; and
  • All developments resolved in one local authority.

Minister English indicated that his objective is to resolve all remaining unfinished housing developments especially those within high market demand locations and strive for 100% turnaround. 

The Minister acknowledges the results of the 2016 survey which indicate that the parts of developments that are occupied are, in the vast amount of cases, now well established and finished to a good standard. South Dublin County Council is the first local authority area to have zero unfinished developments and the Minister wants to ensure that 2017 will see other local authorities following suit.

In line with the commitment in Rebuilding Ireland, the Department also intends to engage with the relevant local authorities and stakeholders to explore the range of strategic acquisition options available to local authorities to take up remaining, suitable and required vacant units.  In order to progress this action, each local authority will be actively seeking expressions of interest from developers, receivers etc. in order to acquire vacant or near complete units within appropriate developments for social housing purposes.

In conclusion, the Minister signalled that his “objective for the following year is to bring back vacant units into reuse for social housing purposes with the potential acquisition / leasing of 1,300 vacant units as a major objective for 2017”.


2016 Overall Survey Results (Excel file 1,642KB)

2016 National Figures by County (Excel file 39KB)

2016 Progress Report (PDF 7,171KB)

2016 Summary data by each Local Authority (PDF 246KB)