The Economic and Social Research Institute says the low level of unemployment in Ireland means solving the housing shortage will require large numbers of immigrant building workers.
It also says a large increase in housing output will require a large increase in bank lending to construction firms and house buyers, to levels not seen since 2008.
However, it says strict lending rules are needed to avoid a repeat of the last property bubble and collapse.
The ESRI has been on the look out for factors that might hold back the construction sector as the economy continues to grow strongly.
Construction employment is low by historic and European levels, and it says more building workers will have to be hired to increase housing supply.
With low unemployment in the State, it says much of that extra labour would have to come from abroad, but that the shortage of homes and the high cost of renting could discourage the workers needed to build new homes from moving to Ireland.