The Central Statistics Office has explained the discrepancy between its figures on the number of new houses built and the Department of Housing’s figures at an Oireachtas committee meeting.
The CSO’s Census figures published in recent weeks showed Ireland’s housing stock increased by 8,800 units between 2011 and 2016, a rise of just 0.4%, with 33,000 householders indicating their home had been built in the previous five years.
Sinn Féin housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin asked senior statisticians from the CSO to explain the difference between the census figure of 33,000 new builds, compared to the Department of Housing figure of 50,000.
Director General of the CSO Pádraig Dalton said the 33,000 figure excluded vacant dwellings that would have been built during the same period.
Mr Dalton said while he could not comment specifically on the department’s figures, he said there were 114,000 households in the Census who did not give information on when the house was built.
“It would be naive of us to assume that none of those houses were built between 2011 and 2016,” Mr Dalton said.
The CSO figures also showed 245,460 vacant dwellings, of which 62,148 were categorised as holiday homes.