Leitrim is the county with the highest rate of vacant homes in Ireland, according to a report from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) which shows that the proportion of uninhabited houses nationally has fallen marginally in recent years, .
The CSO found more than one tenth of the homes in Co Leitrim was likely vacant (10.6 per cent), followed by Co Roscommon (9.5 per cent) and Co Mayo (8.7 per cent).
The report shows the rate of vacancy nationally fell slightly over the period examined, from 4.9 per cent at the start of 2016 to 4.3 per cent at the end of 2021.
The proportion of vacant homes outside of Dublin fell from 6 per cent to 5.1 per cent in the five year period. However, in Dublin it increased from 1.9 per cent to 2.3 per cent over the same period.
The CSO said the lowest vacancy rates were in the South Dublin, Fingal and Kildare county council area, which were all below 2 per cent.
The report, released on Tuesday, states that the rate of vacant homes in rural areas was more than double that recorded in urban areas. The figures were drawn from an analysis of electricity consumption in residential homes over a 12 month period which is used to gauge vacancy rates.
The Swinford local electoral area in Co Mayo had the highest vacancy rate at 12.2 per cent, while Leixlip in Co Kildare and the electoral ward of Tallaght Central in southwest Dublin had the joint lowest at less than 1 per cent.
Apartments (3.7 per cent) and detached homes (3.2 per cent) had higher vacancy rates than semi-detached houses (1.8 per cent). A fifth of vacant homes were built before 1919, the CSO said.