Thursday, 07 March 2024.

In our second Home Truths paper, Vacant Homes in Cork, we identified a significant discrepancy in the number of vacant rental properties, as per Census 2022, and the number of available rental properties advertised on

Census 2022, conducted in April 2022, identified 2,954 vacant rental homes in Cork. reported only 211 homes available to rent across all of Munster on their website on 01 February 2022, falling to just 131 homes on 01 May 2022.

While is not the only advertising option for rental properties, and not all homes available for rent are advertised, these figures none-the-less indicate, in the midst of a housing crisis, a large discrepancy between the number of vacant and available rental homes.

We noted that short-term lets may account for some of the difference and in last week’s Irish Times, an analysis of Inside Airbnb and by Dr. Lorcan Sirr shed more light on this.

His analysis reveals large differences across the country in the numbers of properties available to rent short-term on Airbnb and long-term on in February.

In Cork city, 187 entire properties were available to rent on Airbnb, compared to 81 on Daft – a ratio of 2.3:1. In Cork County, the difference was even more stark with 1,972 homes available to rent on Airbnb compared to just 160 on Daft, giving a ratio of 9.1: 1.

At a time when plans for the introduction of a new mandatory registration system for properties used for short-term lets are still, one year later, under review by the European Commission, Sirr points out that if restrictions on short-term lets brought just half of the properties on the short-term market to the private or social rental sector, that would lead to an additional almost 10,000 homes available to rent nationally.

Across Cork, this would account for at least an additional 1,000 homes to rent, including close to 100 in Cork city.

When single adults are highly reliant on the private rental market to exit homelessness, and when the majority of adults in emergency accommodation are single adults, as we highlighted in our first Home Truths paper: Single Adults in the Southwest, these numbers are not insignificant.

While more social and affordable housing is ultimately needed, we also need quick routes out of homelessness for people stuck there far too long and we need to stem the number of people being pushed into homelessness. Additional rental supply can be an efficient and much-needed part of the solution to the housing crisis.

Our Home Truths series aims to offer insights into different aspects and experiences of homelessness in the Southwest, drawing on publicly available data and supported by the personal experiences of Cork Simon service users.