Document Type

Working Paper


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


5.7 SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC GEOGRAPHY, Urban studies (Planning and development)

Publication Details

UCD Urban Institute Ireland Working Papers Series (1002)

ISSN: 1649-3613 040310


In this paper it is intended to place the recent experience of the Irish housing market in the context of economic and property market cycles, how these interact over a property cycle and lessons from recent policy experience including interventions in the housing area. In spatial terms the current
housing market can be seen as the result of an ad-hoc development led urban growth pattern which contributed to a dispersed development pattern with problems in oversupply. It is clear that alternative options exist to this approach and that evidence based management systems in terms of planning, development and financial decisions will be required to reduce the severity of future property market corrections. The incidence of rapidly increasing residential property prices has been a feature of many international economies in the past decade. This has resulted in house price surges and corrections across much of the industrialised world. Factors associated with such surges include growth in housing demand often supported by relaxed monetary policy stances, planning and zoning systems and fiscal regimes which encourage the investment in residential property acquisition and
development. The falling prices for housing in Ireland in 2007-2010 nationally has created a stagnating effect with purchasers reluctant to enter the market while the price correction is worked through. In turn suppliers, construction interests and vendors are highly reluctant to accept lower bid prices in the market due to often unrealistic expectations created during the long boom. The result of oversupply is falling prices, reduced occupation demand and decreased investor demand, leading to lower building activity and profitability. In addition the banking and liquidity crisis have contributed to a radical deterioration in economic circumstances and increasing out-migration. As part of the Urban Environment Project at UCD this working paper considers the current evidence of a market correction and oversupply in the Dublin region and Ireland based on data available up to March 2010 including the authors’ working projections for 2010.


Environmental Protection Agency under contract 2005-CD-U1-M1.