Planners are being told they need to start shifting their emphasis from three and four bedroom semi-detached houses to more apartments.
A housing lecturer at DIT says even within the next ten years, there will be smaller family units, often of three people or less, in homes.
As a result, demand will be shifting to good quality apartment buildings.
But Lorcan Sirr says until now, apartments haven't been as popular as more traditional housing types: "We have a real problem with apartments in Ireland.
"Nobody regards them as a serious way to live because the offering that we have been given over the years in apartment living has been really poor.
"We have been offered rubbish in terms of size, quality, insulation, heating and noise in particular.
"And the real killer for people is the way these apartment blocks have been managed and the management set up around them. It’s a real nightmare.
"So unless we get that better and get it right, apartments are always going to be seen as a slightly quirky way to live."