Skip to content

New Population & Housing Data Billed as ‘Evidence for Policy’

But will that evidence be used to shape housing policy?

The ESRI issued an important report this week painting a clearer picture of ‘Population Projections, the Flow of New Households, and Structural Housing Demand’  for Ireland in 2024.

These newly released stats provide a useful, data-driven roadmap for homebuilders looking to leverage current opportunities in the Greater Dublin Area and across the regions. In practice, the industry has been scrambling for this data as it confirms what has been apparent in the marketplace; the real question is whether or not policymakers will act quickly enough to allow this updated understanding of supply to shape housing policy in a way that can have an impact on delivery. With that clear objective in mind, the onus is on the homebuilding industry to advocate for policies that facilitate and expedite housing delivery. This timely alignment between data, policy, and industry action is critical to meeting Ireland’s proven housing needs.

The ESRI report highlights a significant and consistent population growth trend, projecting a total population increase to over 6.1 million by 2040. This surge, predominantly driven by net migration, has not been evenly distributed across the country. Regions such as the Eastern and Midlands, particularly the Mid-East, are experiencing the highest growth rates, while the Northern and Western regions lag slightly behind. For homebuilders, this disparity signals where the most urgent demand for new homes will arise. Unsurprisingly, the Eastern and Midlands region, especially the Mid-East comprising Kildare, Meath, and Wicklow, shows the highest growth rates. This region’s strong economic prospects and connectivity to the capital make it a prime target for residential development. Focusing on mixed-use developments that combine residential, commercial, and leisure spaces would cater to the diverse needs of our growing population. Meanwhile, in the Southern region, Cork City presents an interesting opportunity with its balanced demand relative to population share. Urban regeneration projects can breathe new life into existing spaces, making efficient use of available infrastructure. For homebuilders, it is increasingly important to demonstrate your verifiable green building practices and sustainable community designs to appeal to environmentally conscious end users and to align with regional planning frameworks.

In the Northern and Western regions, although growth is slower, areas like Galway City remain significant for strategic development. Tailoring projects to local needs, such as student housing or tech hubs, could satisfy demand while stimulating market interest. For all regions, the ‘S’ or ‘social’ in ESG means delivering community-focused developments that enhance local amenities and connectivity, making these regions more attractive to potential residents and driving forward the cause of balanced regional development (which is not happening at the moment).

The ESRI report is an important opportunity for the State to translate data into effective policies that support housing delivery. For our part, the industry must engage with policymakers to ensure that the insights from this report are used to shape policies that streamline planning processes, incentivise sustainable building, and enhance infrastructure investments. Simplifying the approval process for new developments could reduce bottlenecks and accelerate project timelines. The long-overdue review of the National Development Plan will give a good indication of how serious the State is in taking an evidenced or data-driven approach to infrastructure and housing delivery. 


*This important ESRI publication can be accessed in full at 
https://www.esri.ie/system/files/publications/RS190.pdf

Ian Lawlor
086 3625482

Managing Director 
Lotus Investment Group