The Irish Times just repeats the same n-th hand piece of alleged received wisdom that has acquired a spurious veracity about numbers of vacant properties without any more detailed analysis on:
• Exactly how many residential buildings are actually vacant in terms of not being in the process of being converted or prepared for occupation
• Exactly how many residential buildings are unoccupied because of long-term illness of the occupant(s)
• Exactly how realistic and achievable it might be to convert a small number of individual buildings that are geographically dispersed to residential use and what it might cost, especially relative to constructing new residential properties
But who cares? It is easier just to repeat an unproven assertion rather than engage with the details and question the often-repeated half-truth.http://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-styl ... -1.2899765
This week Apollo House, a vacant Nama-owned property on Tara Street, in Dublin 2, was taken over by “concerned citizens” who want to use it to house homeless people. Their response to the widespread homelessness problem highlights a paradox of the current housing crisis.
While more than 6,000 people in Ireland are officially homeless, while a frenzy of building activity struggles to meet housing demand, and while arguments about rising rents convulse Dáil Éireann, numerous buildings in the capital sit empty. Naturally, concerned citizens must wonder why they cannot be used as homes.
Would filling these empty buildings alleviate the crisis?
In theory, yes. Nine per cent of Dublin dwellings – almost 21,000 units, excluding holiday homes, in the city and suburbs – are vacant. (The national rate is even worse, at 13 per cent.)
No - the non-holiday home residential vacancy rate is 8.6% and not 9%.
So, what is the real number of so-called vacant residential buildings in Dublin?
The CSO publish census data on this:
EP009: Housing Stock and Vacant Dwellings 2016 by Electoral Division, CensusYear and Statistic
But they do not give reasons why a building is classified as vacant, such as:
• Vacant interval between lettings
• Occupier in long-term residential care
• Derelict and unsuitable for accommodation without major work
• Derelict and suitable for accommodation with minor work
I find the CSO data on this, and other census data, questionable. But let’s use it as a starting point.
The following is an attempt to derive a realistic estimate:
Dublin Dublin City
A Housing Stock (Number) 534,652 242,397
Vacant Holiday Homes (Number) 1,439 937
B Other Vacant Dwellings (Number) 35,293 20,844
Total Vacant Dwellings (Number) 36,732 21,781
Vacancy Rate % 6.87% 8.99%
Non Holiday Home Vacancy Rate % 6.60% 8.60%
C Number of Tenancies Registered 123,215 96,960
D = C x U Number Of Residential Properties Represented By Tenancies - Es 82,554 64,963
E = D x V Number Of Residential Properties Vacant At Any Time - Estimate 4,128 3,248
F = (A-D) x W Fair Deal Vacancies - Estimate 4,521 1,774
G = (A-D) x X Number Of Residential Properties Vacant Due To Refurbishment - 6,781 2,662
H = (A-D) x Y Vacant Due To Sales Process 6,781 2,662
I = B - E - F - G - H Net Number Of Actual Vacant Residential Properties - Estimate 13,082 10,498
J = I / A Actual Vacancy Rate 2.45% 4.33%
U Tenancy To Residential Unit Conversion Factor 0.67
V Rental Vacancy Rate 5%
W Fair Deal Vacancies 1%
X Refurbishment Vacancies 1.5%
Y Sales-Related Vacancy Rate 1.5%
The assumptions are stated.
The number of tenancies will not be the same as the number of residential properties they occupy. Some multi-tenancy units will be classified by the CSO as a single residential building.
I have made assumptions on the void rate of rental properties, the number of residential building being refurbished at any one time and the number of houses left unoccupied because the owner is in long-term residential care and because of Fair Deal, the house is not sold.
A more realistic estimate of the number of vacant residential units is probably around 10,500 or around 4.33%.
Given that the estimated annual property requirement for Dublin is at least 15,000, this is not even a year’s worth of required residential property.
Alleged vacant residential buildings are just a distraction from the real issue about the failure to put in place structures, processes, incentives and penalties that cause and enable residential building.