ESRI outlines housing shortfall, promotes vacant land tax

Construction of apartment has declined significantly

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The building where it has been reported that there is a proposed eviction of 13 families on Mountjoy Street on Dublins northside.Photo: /

The Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) is recommending the introduction of a vacant land tax, to free up more sites for building.

The think-tank says at the moment, not enough homes are being built in areas of key demand like Dublin.

Over recent years an average of 2,500 new homes were built in the capital - when in fact 15,000 are needed.

A new report says house prices have risen by 30% in Dublin, Galway and Cork city, while there's been a rise of around 10% elsewhere.

Associate professor with the ESRI Edgar Morgenroth says politicians must do all they can to increase housing supply:

"In the social housing side we might have to return to direct provision by the local authorities. They do own some lands.

We also need to consider some of the other restrictions that might be holding back developers.

If there is land hoarding going on, something like a vacant land tax might encourage developers to put that into the system."

Apartment fall-off

The research institute also says the construction of new apartments has fallen off.

The number of planning permissions for multi-unit developments is also at a low level, indicating that completions of this type of development will not increase significantly in the near future.