More vacant houses than ever despite population increase

While Kilkenny has gained over 4,600 new houses since 2006, some 4,264 dwellings in the county are vacant.

While Kilkenny has gained over 4,600 new houses since 2006, some 4,264 dwellings in the county are vacant.

New data from Census 2011 shows that in 2002, just prior to the primary property boom years, Kilkenny had a vacancy rate of 6.6%. That year, just under 1,900 units were vacant out of a total housing stock of 27,811.

By 2006, the vacancy rate had soared to 12%, with 4,108 empty units of the 34,353 total stock. Between then and 2011, Kilkenny’s housing stock swelled to 39,005.

The number of vacant dwellings in the county totalled 4,624 in April 2011, giving a vacancy rate of 11.9%. While this remains below the national average of a 14.5% vacancy rate, the data is skewed by seaside towns, as all holiday homes fall under the category of ‘vacant’. Half of all holiday homes in the country are within 1km of the coastline, notably in Donegal and Kerry.

In Kilkenny, 3,569 of vacant units were houses, 654 were vacant apartments and 401 were holiday homes. The number of vacant apartments increased in every county in Ireland – by more than double in six counties during the five-year period between 2006 and 2011, including Kilkenny (112%) and Carlow (104%).

Our total housing stock last year, including vacant was 39,005.

The increase in apartments as an accommodation type continued in 2011 with 1,370 occupied apartments in Kilkenny in 2011, accounting for 4.1% of all occupied households in the county.

Nationwide, the number of vacant houses actually declined by 4% – from 174,935 in 2006 to 168,427. However, the number of vacant apartments grew by 48% over the same five year period – from 41,598 to 61,629.