Estimating the Structural Demand for Irish Housing
After 10 years of unprecedented increases in both prices and activity levels, the Irish housing market appears to be entering a period of some uncertainty. In the early part of 2007, Irish house prices, for the first time in recent history, experienced negative growth rates - leading indicators within the housing sector would suggest that house building is already beginning to contract, with future levels expected to be somewhat below the record level of construction in 2006. The sustained increase in housing construction prompted by the rapid increase in prices has resulted in the Irish construction sector assuming a position of considerable importance within the overall economy. Arguably, any significant slowdown in housing activity could have far-reaching domestic consequences. In this paper, we use a recently developed model of the housing sector to gauge what the structural level of demand is for Irish housing.
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