Listening to the George Hook Show tonight he had an academic from NUI Maynooth on who was talking about "ghost estates" throughout the country and the extent of vacant properties everywhere. The county with the highest rate of unoccupied houses was Co Leitrim where fully 1/3 of properties are vacant. The main reason for this was the fact that the whole county had S23 status which meant development was haphazard at best and went on in even the most inappropriate places. This effectively made it a microcosm of the whole country.
One of the effects which the panel never mentioned was that these properties are effectively subsidising landlords as many of these same properties were acquired by landlords just to avail of S23 status and reduce the rental income for tax purposes. Over time these properties will have cost their owners nothing.