The Census 2016 results released this week, show that the number of housing units in Louth has increased by just 213 units or 0.4% since 2011.
Louth’s housing stock grew from 51,399 in 2011 to 51,186 in 2016 or 53 units a year.
There is a large improvement however, in the number of vacant properties in Louth. While 4,713 vacant units sounds like a very large number, it is down from 6,232 in the last census. Out of these 4,713 units, 761 are holiday homes so the number of vacant properties is just under 4,000. This shows a drop in the vacancy rate in Louth to 9.2% from 12.2%. This figure looks even better when compared with the national figure of 15%.
The number of households in rental accommodation has risen since 2011, to 12,350 from 11,538. This shows an increase of 7% on the 2011 figure which seems quite high when compared to the national increase of 4.7%.
The average weekly rent paid to private landlords increased by 11.8% since 2011, with €157.79 being paid on average in Louth in 2016, compared with €147.79 in 2011. This figure is much lower than the national average weekly rent of €199.92 – this figure however does include average Dublin rent rates in its calculation.
Finally, the census also reveals that there are fewer younger home owners than in 2011, with the home ownership overtaking renting at 34 years old. While this is a year younger than the national average of 35 years old, it is older than the national age of 32 years old, recorded in 2011. What is more revealing about this is that in 1991, the national age was 26. This clearly shows a long-term trend in home ownership and will surely influence how housing planning will proceed in the years to come.