Sunday 25 September 2016

Sharp fall in number of new homes built in capital

Published 10/02/2016 | 02:30

Housing output is way below the level needed to meet demand, despite a series of Government interventions aimed at boosting delivery of new homes. Photo: Jason Alden/Bloomberg
Housing output is way below the level needed to meet demand, despite a series of Government interventions aimed at boosting delivery of new homes. Photo: Jason Alden/Bloomberg

House-building has dropped by more than 60pc in some parts of the capital as new figures show a slight rise in the number of homes completed across the country.

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Housing output is way below the level needed to meet demand, despite a series of Government interventions aimed at boosting delivery of new homes including a €500m funding package for developers, introduction of a vacant site tax and a rebate on development levies.

But Department of the Environment figures show the policies have yet to have an impact. Just 12,666 homes were built last year, up 1,650 on the number of completions in 2014. This is far short of the 21,000 units needed.

There has also been a marked drop in output across three of the four Dublin local authorities, where some 2,891 units were completed last year - a fall of 377, or 11pc.

Completions are down 62pc in South Dublin to just 313 units; by 27pc in Dublin City to 667 units; and by 7pc in Dún Laoghaire Rathdown to 651. Completions have also dropped in Galway city, in Laois and in Westmeath.

The figures show that almost half of all units completed are one-off (6,071 or 48pc). Some 4,954 scheme houses and 1,641 apartments were delivered.

The lowest number of homes were delivered in Galway city (83, down 5pc), and the highest in Fingal (1,260, up 56pc). The sharpest rise was recorded in Waterford - up 97pc to 380.

House prices continue to rise nationally due to the shortage of new homes and in the wake of tough Central Bank lending rules. The Construction Industry Federation said while the overall increase was welcomed, the cost of building a home was often more expensive than its market value.

Crisis

Fianna Fáil said the lack of housing was a "national crisis".

Sources said while the Dublin output was disappointing, completions in previous years may have involved finishing existing schemes rather than new developments. Banks were also selling loans attached to land banks, meaning land was becoming more affordable.

"I would say that will lead to an increased supply because the land is now being offered at a sensible price," one source said.

Irish Independent

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