LAOIS has the highest level of vacant housing stock in Ireland, according to a new report from the Construction Industry Federation (CIF).
Laois has a four year supply of new and completed housing units, compared to 12 to 18 months in Offaly or just six months in Kildare.
There are currently 636 housing units completed and vacant in Laois,
309 weathered houses, and a further 506 houses under construction. At the end of 2009, there was a total of 32,469 houses throughout the county.
The CIF annualised the total housing completion figures from the Regional Planning Guidelines over seven years. which resulted in a sharp drop in future housing demand in the county.
Their evaluation shows that there is a 16 months supply of new and complete housing units in Offaly, 11 months supply in Westmeath and over four years supply in Longford also.
Their report was based on the physical count of unsold new housing by the Department of Environment, and the most up to date future housing requirements published by the Regional Authorities.
The CIF reports says that the completed and vacant stock could sit on the market for some months or years to come, until such time as sales activity pick up.
This is in line with the Council's draft development plan which said that the overhang of unsold housing stock is likely to prevent growth in house prices until 2014.
The draft development plan revealed that house prices in Laois will have halved in value by the end of this year. The plan predicts an increase of one per cent in two years time. From there to 2018 the growth will stabilise at three per cent.
The council also say that there were more than 1,300 properties on the market last year, of which more than four in ten were in Portlaoise, with 15 per cent in Portarlington.