Ireland ranks 10th globally for the highest proportion of vacant homes

A new study by UK price comparison website money.co.uk  found that 9.1 per cent of the State’s housing stock, equating to 183,312 units, are classified as vacant.

The study also looked at the countries with the most empty homes compared with the homeless population.

Ireland was deemed to have a homeless population of 5,873 at the time of the analysis, meaning that just 3.2 per cent of its empty homes would be needed to house every homeless person in the country. Ireland was ranked eighth in this category.

Currently, 9.1 percent of the State’s housing stock, 183,312 units, are classified as vacant according to research done by UK price comparison website money.co.uk. Ireland accordingly had 5,873 homeless people at the time of analysis, meaning only 3.2 percent of its vacant homes would be needed to erase homelessness across the country. 

Cllr.Damien O’Reilly has called for a reduction in Capital Gains Tax on vacant properties as an effort to bring extra housing supply into the marketplace.   

“In the last census more than 183,312 vacant homes, excluding holiday homes, were recorded nationwide, with up to 90,000 of these vacant homes in urban areas,” says Cllr. O’Reilly. “I believe we need to look at the vacant property issue and the potential it offers to increase housing supply.  More than a third of the properties classified as vacant here are owned by elderly people,” he continues

“I have written to the Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe, to suggest reducing Capital Gains Tax on vacant properties for 12 months from 33% to 10% to bring extra housing supply into the marketplace”.

“The Minister has assured me that the issue is being examined and that my suggestion will be given due consideration by the Government.” 

The new zoned land tax hopes to upend this, yet critics are skeptical on how effective this will be. Vacant homes will only be taxed 3 percent which Varadkar stated will damage landowners profits enough to force the sale of units. They would not be charged until 2024 as a commission into what units are vacant or not needs to be made by Revenue Commissioners.

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