Census 2016: Home ownership in decline and rent prices on the increase

The agency revealed a "considerable slowdown" in the number of homes being built, with the country's housing stock increasing by just 8,800 homes from 2011 and 2016.

It also runs contrary to the Government's Action Plan For Housing report claims that roughly 15,000 houses were built a year ago and 13,000 in 2015.

Roughan Mac Namara of Focus Ireland said that action needs to be taken "urgently" on the number of vacant homes.

The border town was closely followed by Keshcarrigan in Co Leitrim where 45.6% of the residential properties lay empty and Kilgarvan in Co Kerry which had a 43.1% vacancy rate.

Nationally, prices remain 31% below the peak levels with houses being 28% below and apartments 40% below. Of these, 1,697,665 were occupied by persons usually resident in the State.

When it comes to renting, the number of households paying at least €300 to private landlords each week skyrocketed 166% to 48,933.

The survey found that renting was more common among those under the age of 35 and beyond this, people tended to own their houses.

It also emerged that there are more people renting In Longford than ever before.

This age has steadily crept up over the past quarter of a century, with an equivalent age of 26 in 1991.

The average rent paid to private landlords was €101.05, a slight decrease on the 2011 figure which was €101.84. The highest growth in rent was in Dublin City which increased by nearly 30pc while rises in excess of 20pc were also recorded in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown (26.2pc), Fingal (22.8pc), South Dublin (22.7pc) and Kildare (20.3pc).

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) said there is no data to fully explain the huge jump but a spokesman added that it could be partly explained by the region experiencing growing demand after lagging behind the recovery in the capital.

There were 183,312 vacant houses and apartments, while the census also counted 62,148 vacant holiday homes.

There are 95,013 permanent households with more people than rooms wich equates to just under 10% of the population.

In the five years from 2006 to 2011 the number was 225,232.

  • Joanne Flowers