Soaring population to ramp up housing pressure in capital

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Soaring population to ramp up housing pressure in capital


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The population of Dublin City could rise by more than 64,000, based on calculations from the 2016 level, by 2022, heaping further pressure on the housing market.

A hard Brexit combined with an economic shock could hugely add to the population pressures in Dublin, according to a new study.

Existing migration patterns are bringing 34,000 people a year to the State, many of them to Dublin, whose housing and transport infrastructure struggles to cope with the number of people already living there.

The study by Future Analytics Consulting, for Dublin City’s Housing Observatory, said the population of the capital – 555,000 in 2016 – could rise by 7.5pc to as much as 11.5pc, depending on the severity of Brexit.

The number of people added by 2022 versus the 2016 census would be more than 150,000, if the same trend extended to the full Dublin area, including Fingal, South Dublin  and Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown.

The migration data will be plugged into the housing and demand assessment for the city, said Professor William Hynes, director of Future Analytics Consulting.

“The findings to date have really brought to light the importance of understanding migration as a key component of population change, particularly given Ireland, by its nature, is a small, open but globally connected economy,” he said.

In the years between 2011 and 2016, Dublin City added 27,000 residents, so the numbers being discussed in today’s report would, if they panned out, represent a huge expansion for a city that does not build enough houses for the current population.

The shortage of affordable housing has become a major political issue as a nation that once aspired to move into property ownership now finds that is out of its reach.

A lack of housing provided by the local authority and an overall shortage means the numbers in the private rental sector have surged and the industry has attracted investment from global funds.

There were just 1,343 properties for rent on the Daft.ie website yesterday.

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The growth of the institutional private rented sector has been so strong that it bought 11.1pc of all residential units sold in the city last year, according to a report by property firm Savills, which estimates that demand will outstrip supply until 2023.

Funds worth €926.7m were invested in the private rented sector last year, Savills said.

Almost 27pc of households in the Dublin area are now in private sector rentals. It is the dominant form of housing for younger people, accounting for 60pc of the under-35 age group.

“Dublin’s housing system is currently imbalanced in important ways, which initially imposes financial challenges but will also result in the creation of further inequality and will erode social mobility,” said Professor Kenneth Gibb, chair of the Independent Advisory Board to the Dublin Housing Observatory.

While much of the focus on population growth in the Dublin area has been on housing, the CSO warned in its latest projections that planning needed to account for the location of enterprise and employment opportunities.

The CSO projects the population of the greater Dublin area will hit 2.2 million by 2031.

Irish Independent

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