Almost 18,000 Kerry properties classed as vacant

Almost 18,000 properties in Kerry are classed as vacant.

That’s according to figures released by Kerry County Council, in response to a question from Fine Gael Listowel MD Councillor Michael Foley on a record of vacant properties being compiled.

The council says the 2016 census estimated there were 74,094 dwellings in Kerry; 8,527 were classified as vacant houses, 1,164 as vacant apartments, and 8,056 vacant holiday homes.

That’s a total of 17,747 vacant properties, or 24%, almost a quarter, of all in the county.

The council says excluding holiday homes, the vacant homes rate in Kerry is 13.1%.

The local authority says while the vacancy level has dropped since the 2011 census, it continues to be higher than expected in a time of housing shortage.

In the 2011 Census, there were 9,860 vacant homes in Kerry, 1,657 vacant apartments, and 8,202 vacant holiday homes.

Kerry County Council appointed a full time vacant homes officer in 2019, who has worked to identify vacant homes in the hubs and regional towns of the county.

The next objective is to establish ownership, and how the locations match current and future housing needs.

The council sought for expressions of interest in the Repair and Lease Scheme along the regular leasing of vacant properties last January; they says there was some success from this, but they’ll be re-advertising the schemes again soon.