09 Feb 22 | News

LISER research fellow Paul Kilgarriff is awarded the 131st Barrington Medal

The award is given to promising new researchers in the economic and social sciences

Congratulations to LISER Research fellow Paul Kilgarriff, who was awarded the 2020/2021 Barrington Medal based on his research at LISER.  In his forthcoming article “Price, Size & Density: Dublin housing in an EU context”, Paul sheds light on improving information in relation to housing by creating a measure of price per square metre. He then examines how affordability, density and property size are related and how low density in the city centre via low building heights has contributed to undersupply of housing.

The prestigious Barrington Medal is awarded annually by the Council of the Statistical and Social Inquiry Society of Ireland, under the auspices of the Barrington Trust (founded in 1836). The award is intended to recognise a promising new researcher in the economic and social sciences in Ireland. This will be the 172nd anniversary of the lecture series and the recipient will be the 131st Barrington Lecturer.

A measure of price per square metre provides a simplified measure to both buyers and sellers. When compared with construction costs this can improve our understanding of the housing market and identify areas where policy intervention is required to increase the housing supply.
-Paul Kilgarriff

Please find a video presentation here and presentation slides available here.

An abstract is given below and a draft paper is available here.

Abstract: The current discussions and analysis around housing in Ireland lack a detailed analysis of the relationship between house size and prices in Ireland. Related to house size is the density of an area. In this paper I contribute a measure of price per square metre (ppsm) for housing. Using web-scraped data a kriging methodology is used to interpolate a ppsm at the Small Area level for Dublin and its commuter area. Results show that the highest ppsm is located around the city centre. Houses however in these areas are smaller compared to areas south of the city where ppsm remains high as well as house size. Exploring affordability shows that households can trade-off distance to the central business district (CBD) in exchange for a lower ppsm and higher house size. Properties over 90m2 remain unaffordable even for households in the 75th percentile of disposable incomes. Using radial analysis along with scaling to control for city size, comparisons in population density and building heights are made between Dublin, Vienna, Copenhagen and Paris. Controlling for city size, the analysis highlights the low density nature of Dublin and limited quantity of living space when compared to the other cities. Solutions are required to increase the supply of living space around the CBD in an attempt to improve affordability.