Clare County Council publishes Vacant Houses study

Clare County Council has confirmed a housing vacancy rate of 21.2% in the County based on the most recent Census figures.

Focusing on figures contained in 2011 Census, the Council has determined there are 11,782 vacant housing units out of a total housing stock of 55,616 units in April 2011.

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The vacancy rate of 21.2% is the second highest in Munster and higher than the national average of 14.5%.

The “Vacant Houses in County Clare” study, which has been prepared by the Planning and Enterprise Development section of Clare County Council, also reveals that three urban locations in Clare have over 70% vacancy rates, namely Liscannor (73%) Kilkee (72%) and Lahinch (70%). 82% of all homes classified as vacant in Kilkee and Liscannor are used as holiday homes.

Other towns and villages with a vacancy rate of 35% include Mountshannon (59%), Bunratty (51%), Ballyvaughan (50%), Doonbeg (42%), Miltown Malbay (39%) and Lisdoonvarna (38%).

A further examination of the 2011 Census figures reveals that Shannon and Ennis Municipal Districts have some of the lowest vacancy rates in the County with vacancy rates of 22% in some areas of Ennis.

Other key points of the “Vacant Houses in County Clare” study:
–   While the housing stock grew by 14% between 2006 and 2011 the vacancy rate has increased by 1.1%.
–   There were 92 settlements in Ireland with a vacancy rate of 35% or more, of which fifteen were in Donegal, thirteen each in counties Kerry and Cork. Clare had nine settlements with a vacancy of greater 35%.  6 of these settlements in Clare had over half of their housing stock vacant on Census night.
–   In the rural areas 29 Electoral Divisions in the (newly formed) West Clare municipal district have a vacancy rate of over 30%. Many of these are situated on or near the coastline. The highest areas of vacancy rates are around the rural hinterland of Kilkee, Liscannor and Ballyvaughan.
–   The majority of Electoral Divisions in Killaloe have a vacancy rate of between 10-30% with a small number of Electoral Divisions in the rural areas around settlements of Mountshannon and Killaloe having higher vacancy rates. The village of Mountshannon had a vacancy rate of 59% on April, 2011 whilst Killaloe had the most holiday homes in this Municipal Area.

Clare County Council stated that the study will be considered during the review of the Clare County Development Plan commencing in January 2015.