Severe housing shortage means 80,0000 new homes needed in next five years

A solid pace of US jobs growth pushed up Wall Street stocks futures and the dollar on Friday, adding to pressure on the euro from signs that the European Central Bank (ECB) is warming to the once-taboo idea of aggressive asset buying.

The Housing Agency, a government advisory body, has projected the level of housing needed across the Republic in the next five years and the results are stark.

A massive 80,000 residential units must be built in urban areas between now and 2018 to support the population, it found.

Almost half of this is required in the Dublin region, where an average of 7,500 new units are needed a year. Homes for three people or less will make up three quarters of these, as family sizes get smaller and more and more people live alone. “We need to look at all the housing needs in the country across the lifecycle from student accommodation, people renting at the early stages of their career, family households and older people” said Housing Agency chief executive John O’Connor.

Swords and Balbriggan are particularly desperate for new houses, the study found – nearly 1,500 are required for Swords alone over the next four years.

Outside of Dublin, areas facing particularly acute shortages include Drogheda town (1,284 units needed over five years) and Dundalk (1,088 units needed over five years).

Kilkenney has an immediate shortage, the research also revealed, while Cork city, Galway and Limerick will face shortages as early as next year and Waterford will face shortages from 2017.