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spiralling Average house price surged €28k last year despite nearly one in 20 homes being vacant

More than 90,000 homes vacant

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The average price of a house shot up by close to €28,000 last year as a shortage of properties to buy and strong demand combined to send values spiralling upward.

Despite the chronic lack of supply, nearly one in 20 homes is vacant, according to a wide-ranging analysis by GeoDirectory database.

The database was set up by An Post an d Ordnance Survey Ireland to create a list of commercial and residential buildings.

Property prices rose in all 26 counties last year.

The national average house price during the year to last October was €321,596.

This was up 9.4pc, or €27,655, compared with the previous 12-month period to October 2020.

A number of rural counties saw huge leaps in property prices due to remote working becoming more popular.

Prices were up 18pc in Sligo, 17pc in Mayo and by 16pc in Longford.

Dublin remains the most expensive location to buy a house in Ireland, with an average price of €496,652.

Neighbouring counties Wicklow, with average prices of €428,493, and Kildare at €338,874, were the only other counties with residential property prices higher than the national average.

The lowest average house price in the year to last October was recorded in Longford, at €142,298.

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Statisticians said this was a 64pc increase from the average price in 2016 of €87,000.

Meath, Cork, and Galway were other counties to record average house prices above €250,000.

Properties in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, at an average of €686,393, remained the most expensive, having risen by 14.8pc in a year, faster than any other city council area.

There were 90,158 vacant dwellings recorded in the State.

This represents 4.4pc of the national housing stock, or almost one in 20 homes.

However, year-on-year residential vacancy rates decreased in 20 of the 26 counties.

The lowest residential vacancy rates in the country were found in Dublin, Kildare, and both Waterford and Louth.

The three counties with the highest residential vacancy rates in quarter four of 2021 were Leitrim, Mayo and Roscommon.

There were almost 21,000 derelict residential units in the State in December, a 7.3pc drop in the number of units since December 2016, according to the analysis that was carried out with the help of EY Economic Advisory.

Some 18,047 new residential address points were added to the GeoDirectory database last year, representing a 17.4pc decrease on the total added in 2020.

The database shows that 19,495 residential buildings were under construction at the end of last year, a 16.5pc increase year-on-year.

Chief executive of GeoDirectory, Dara Keogh, said Covid-19 has proved to be a substantial speed-bump for the delivery of housing supply in Ireland.

“The knock-on impact of the closure of construction sites in early 2021 can be seen in the relatively low number of new address points added to the GeoDirectory database.”

But residential construction activity has rebounded strongly since reopening fully in April, he said.

Director of EY Economic Advisory, Annette Hughes, said the vacant and derelict homes should be investigated to see if they can be returned to the housing stock, a move which would also support our retrofitting targets.

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