Demolition the last resort for Ireland’s 19,000 houses in ghost estates

What to do with all the houses built during the Irish property boom that no one wants or can afford?

Demolishing the so-called ghost estates should be the 'last resort' for dealing with the issue of the thousands of partially finished developments dotting the country, Irish Housing Minister Willie Penrose told Business Week.

Since the last major survey was carried out less than 10 houses in three housing estates were demolished on safety grounds, Penrose told reporters in Dublin this week.

'There is no magic wand to resolve the problem of Ireland's unfinished housing estates,' he added.

The actual number of unfinished Irish housing estates has declined from 2,876 to 2,066, according to a survey released by the Housing Ministry this week. The number of complete and vacant houses now stands at 18,638 according to the report.

A further 17,872 houses are at various stages of construction and are unlikely to ever be completed.

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