Almost 350,000 houses and apartments in Ireland are currently vacant, according to new research from University College Dublin.

The figure represents 17 per cent of total housing stock in the country.  Outside the greater Dublin area more than 1 in 5 houses are empty. 

According to the report

At the height of the boom we couldn't build fast enough, 90,000 homes went up in one year. Today almost four times that number are lying vacant according to researchers at University College Dublin. Minus holiday homes, empty rentals and derelict houses there are still 170,000 empty units.

Brendan Williams of UCD questions the demand for these properties outside urban areas. 

An RTÉ News report by Sharon Tobin broadcast 5 March 2010.