Building sector still lags market
The Irish construction sector accounts for just 5.7pc of GDP - barely half the 10pc average in the EU and among the worst rates on the continent, in the latest sign that the construction industry is nowhere near "back to normal".
Data from economic consultants DKM showed that Irish construction output is expected to increase 14.4pc to just over €€14bn this year, and is set to increase 16pc next and 7.4pc in 2018.
DKM director Annette Hughes said the strong forecasts for the years ahead reflect an industry coming from a tiny base.
"The industry has been in recession for six years until 2014 and needs to play catch up with an economy that has grown almost 20pc in the meantime.
"With what appears to be significant projects in the planning pipeline, the construction industry prospects seem bright over the coming years, provided the required conditions are in place to facilitate this growth," she said.
An estimated 10,133 homes were built in 2015 and about 11,000 are expected to be made available this year.
That is likely to increase to about 20,000 by 2018 say DKM, however by most estimates that level needs to be almost doubled to keep up with demand.
Ms Hughes was speaking at the Euroconstruct Conference in Dublin. The organisation is made up of research firms focused on the construction industry across 19 European countries.