The Economic and Social Research Institute has said that tens of thousands of new homes are needed to meet demand over the next seven years.

It said that by far the greatest number is required in the Greater Dublin area.

The ESRI said that while there is a shortage of housing in the capital, there is a substantial surplus of housing stock in some counties.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Dr Edgar Morgenroth said the rate of housing completions in the Greater Dublin area needed to increase rapidly to avert a significant shortage.

He said: "Obviously, these are estimates, but in Dublin itself we are estimating somewhere like 54,000 extra housing units being required to be completed between now and 2021."

Dr Morgenroth said of the 90,000 homes needed over the next seven years, 60% are in Dublin and another 26% are in the commuter belt areas in Louth, Meath, Kildare and Wicklow.