Wednesday 28 September 2016

1,000 new homes, but almost half are one-off properties

Published 01/09/2015 | 02:30

Many financial advisers and mortgage brokers believe the rules will make it impossible for people to save up the deposit they need to buy a home over two or three years
Many financial advisers and mortgage brokers believe the rules will make it impossible for people to save up the deposit they need to buy a home over two or three years

The number of finished houses exceeded one thousand last month as construction activity continues to grow steadily outside of the main urban areas.

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Some 1,120 units were built in July - but almost half of them were one-off properties, according to new figures obtained by the Irish Independent.

Driving up construction activity in Dublin presents the greatest challenge for the Government.

Just 348 units have been built in Dublin City in the first seven months of the year - a staggering drop of 41pc compared to 2014.

House completion across the four Dublin local authorities has fallen 7pc in the same period in comparison to a 6pc increase in homes being built in the Greater Dublin area.

According to the figures, 55pc of the units in Dublin were constructed as part of housing schemes, while one-third are new apartments.

A total of 6,745 homes nationwide have now been built since the beginning of the year, representing a 16pc increase on the same period last year.

If current trends continue, up to 15,000 homes will be built in 2015 and potentially 18,000 the following year.

According to data, construction activity is rising steadily outside of cities.

Areas that have recorded significant increases in the number of houses being built since January include Fingal, Kildare, Limerick, Louth and Wicklow. Overall, the number of homes being built is far below the level required to meet demand, according to briefing documents prepared for both Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Environment Minister Alan Kelly.

"Output is still way below the predicted output of 25,000 units necessary for a functioning market from 2014 onwards as predicted by the ESRI," the documents state.

Last night, Environment Minister Alan Kelly said the Government was acutely aware of the need to increase housing supply.

Efficiency

"The overall numbers are encouraging. As a country we need much more housing from both the public and private sector, but you have to walk before you can run. Housing activity is increasing under most headings and with planning permissions especially growing in the Greater Dublin Area," the Labour Party politician told the Irish Independent. "

Separately, the Department of Environment raised concern over the energy efficiency of residential properties. This is particular concern in relation to families and elderly people. The department refers to data from the Building Energy Rating (BER) database which states that 25pc of the Irish residential housing stock is in the most energy-inefficient categories.

"The results also find that there is a substantially greater likelihood that the elderly or families living in rental properties live in the most energy-inefficient properties," the department warns.

Irish Independent

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