Only 3,000 homes to be built here in 2012 as market grinds to halt
The virtually annihilated home-building market in Ireland will have come to almost a complete standstill this year, according to influential industry group Euroconstruct.
It's predicting that the level of new home building here will tumble by 42pc in 2012. That will bring the likely number of annualised house completions in the country to somewhere under 3,000, compared with the 90,000 homes built in 2007.
All the new homes being built in Ireland at the moment comprise one-off housing rather than bigger developments.
The unprecedented low forecast by Euroconstruct demonstrates just how far the nation's property market has sunk and how a glut of unsold homes, almost non-existent lending and battered consumer confidence is impacting the market.
Euroconstruct is also predicting that new home construction volumes will shrink 10pc in 2013 before recovering by 22pc in 2014. The single biggest decline in new residential building volumes in Ireland was recorded in 2009, when they plunged by almost 60pc.
The forecasts come as ratings agency Moody's warned that house prices in Ireland were set to tumble another 20pc.
The dismal outlook from Euroconstruct also predicts that volumes in the overall Irish construction market will shrink by another 14.2pc this year.
That's one of the steepest falls among the 19 European countries that are represented by Euroconstruct.
The forecast is also significantly worse than the group's previous estimate that Ireland's construction volumes would decline by about 8pc this year.
Only Spain will fare worse this year than Ireland. Construction volumes there are likely to slump more than 20pc in 2012. That compares with a previous forecast fall from Euroconstruct of 9pc.
The expected fall this year will bring Spain's construction volume contraction to nearly 70pc from peak levels around 2007. The country is expected to account for 75pc of the overall decline in western European construction activity during 2012.
Unsurprisingly, bailed-out Portugal will also fare terribly this year. Euroconstruct thinks the country's construction volumes will fall 13pc in 2012.
Spain, Portugal and Ireland will also be the only three members of Euroconstruct whose construction industries will fail to emerge from declines in 2013.
Greece isn't a member of Euroconstruct, so its construction activity isn't covered in forecasts. Greece's statistics office said this week that construction volumes in the country fell 27.2pc in the 12 months to March.
Euroconstruct thinks Ireland's overall construction volumes will fall 6.6pc next year and that Spain's will decline 8.1pc.
Overall construction volumes in the countries covered by Euroconstruct are expected to fall 2.1pc this year and rise just 0.4pc in 2013. Euroconstruct had previously forecast that the decline would be 0.3pc this year and the increase in 2013 would be 1.8pc.