The development blocked by #HomeSweetHome is worth 300 social houses



It costs €165,000 to build a social housing unit.

Apollo House, and the adjacent Hawkins House are set for €50m worth of development.

This is equivalent to 300 social houses.


Of course, the site itself is not worth €50m, nor is the government likely to receive €50m in taxes, however it is important to realise the economic activity at stake here. Jobs in demolition, construction and in the completed offices are held up by this action.


Only through sustained economic growth will the State be able to address the housing crisis. If we stand in the way of economic progress, we stand in the way of housing for all.




Yes, Dublin and Cork are rent pressure zones

The government has announced new measures to tackle the rental crisis. A limit of 4% year-on-year increases is proposed for Dublin and Cork.

Dublin’s rental prices are at a completely different level to other cities – Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford (as defined by A differential of €584 is shown above (rents are 38% cheaper than Dublin). The removal of Cork from “other cities” would widen the gap. Fianna Fáil’s intervention is well meaning, but not well supported by the data.

However, that’s not to say that the government policy is correct – as always, there are unintended consequences. The current two-year freeze on rent rises was initially met with attempts to increase before the freeze began. The IMF is concerned at the effect it may have on supply (it remains flat in 2016). Instead of the freeze, this policy sets an upper limit on rental increases. New supply may enter the market at a higher price to future-proof returns. Existing tenants will be protected at the expense of new ones.

There is no silver bullet here. We must tread carefully with policy. Dublin and Cork are good places to start, but they should act as pilot cities, before taking the policy elsewhere.

100 years old – T. K. Whitaker

Today, one of the architects of Ireland’s economic success – T. K. Whitaker – celebrates his 100th birthday.

Our recent economic woes are only temporary, if the strength of our past progress is any indicator.

The share of GDP per person in Ireland today stands at nearly €60,000, up from €600 in 1960.

The beginnings of this advancement lie in the work of Whitaker to open the Irish economy to trade, to abandon protectionism, and to transition the Irish economy from agriculture to industry and services.

The true value of a college education in Ireland

Ireland charges a €3,000 annual registration fee. This is among some of the highest fees in the world, but new data suggests it *is* value for money.

The Economist, using OECD data, calculates a net lifetime benefit of $350,000 (€328,000) for the average Irish student, compared to non-graduates.

Further analysis at The Irish Times.

Welcome to Irish Stats!

So, the election is well and truly behind us. Time for a new look and new purpose to the site.


As we go, I hope to share some fascinating data about Ireland.


Let’s start with the basics – GDP. Ireland’s grew by 26%! in 2015.