Big regional differences, Dublin seeing the fastest growth
Dublin (+4.3%) saw the fastest population growth, followed by the counties surrounding the capital (Leinster ex-Dublin, +4.3%). The population of Ulster (Border counties) hardly grew at all (+0.4%) due to large migration flows. Dublin was also the only region to see a net increase in migration flows over the period, highlighting how Dublin has remained a magnet for foreign labour.
Vacancy rates down, with huge differences across the country
The vacancy rate (excluding holiday homes) stood at 9.8% in April 2016, down from 11.5% in April 2011. However, within this national figure, there is a huge range. The lowest rate is South Dublin (4.0%), with the highest being in Leitrim (20.8%). Indeed, a significant number of the areas with the highest housing vacancy rates have seen population declines, proof that while there is excess supply, it is largely in the wrong areas of the country. We have previously estimated a “normal” vacancy rate of 7%. The Census data confirms that vacancy rates are below this level in most of Dublin (apart from Dublin City surprisingly) and Wicklow.