THE number of properties for sale on the open market is at a record low, according to figures contained in a quarterly housing report prepared by Cork County Council.
Maurice Manning, the Council’s director of services for housing, confirmed to the members of the Western Committee of Cork County Council that there were just 20,500 properties for sale nationwide in March 2017, the lowest ever since 2007.
Mr Manning confirmed that the western division of Cork County Council only acquired four houses in the first quarter of this year.
He said the four three-bedroom houses are located at Whitethorn Grove at Knockbrogan in Bandon. However, he said the Council expects to purchase a four-bedroom house at The Orchards in Bandon, shortly.
There was, however, some good news: Mr Manning confirmed that the Council’s housing waiting list has reduced by 11.7% since the previous Housing Needs Assessment was compiled in 2013.
Mr Manning informed the councillors that the assessment is usually carried out every three years, but from June 28th onwards the assessment will be done on an annual basis.
The most recent figures contained within the Housing Needs Assessment list show that 51% of the main applicants are less than 40 years of age, and that 58% of them are in receipt of social welfare. Mr Manning said the 40% of people seeking social housing support do so because they were living in unsuitable housing circumstances, while 42% need social housing because they are depending on rent supplement.
At present, the director of services said 47% of the people on the housing list are living in private rented accommodation with rent supplement, while a further 30% are living in private rented accommodation without rent supplement.
The councillors paid tribute to the Council’s housing executive and staff because the figures – including the stats that show the number of vacant houses in West Cork is down to 1.6% – all appear to be going in the right direction.