The Housing Agency has stated in its first annual report that Ireland requires 21,000 new homes every year for the next three years. According to Conor Skehan, Chairman of the agency, “a consistent challenge arising from the analysis gathered in this report is that there is a persistent mismatch between the supply and demand for housing, particularly in Dublin and surrounding counties, and major cities such as Cork, Galway and Limerick”.

Nationally, there was an undersupply of the required housing in 2014 (73% of the requirement was provided), allowing for pent up demand from 2012 and 2013. In addition, new household formation is projected to increase for each of the next three years and an accelerated delivery of residential units is required to address this deficit. “Almost 21,000 additional residential units are required each year over the next three years to meet demand,” says Skehan.

“Affordability had eased during the economic downturn, but increases in house prices and rent levels, in the absence of corresponding income rises, has reduced housing affordability, particularly for those on low incomes, single earners and those in high demand areas. Access to finance and land for development, affordable construction and reasonable development profits are key drivers in unlocking future supply.”

According to the report house prices have increased, particularly in the Dublin area. The median price paid for a residential property in the state in 2014 was €152,500, up from €140,000 in 2013. The average house price in the Dublin region increased by 18% up from a median price of €220,264 in 2013 to €260,000 in 2014. For the rest of the country, residential price increases were comparatively modest – up on average 7.3% in 2014 to €118,000 from €110,000 in 2013. The first half of 2015 has seen asking prices for residential properties in some parts of Dublin levelling off, while increasing by 9% outside the Capital.

Pictured at the The Housing Agency announcement was Minister for State with responsibility for Housing, Mr Paudie Coffey, Dr Conor Skehan, Chairman of the Housing Agency and  David Silke, Housing Agency, Director of Research and Corporate. Picture Conor McCabe Photograph