KERRY has had the third highest fall in construction commencements this year in Ireland but the county has also seen a significant increase in planning applications, which could bode well for the future of the local construction industry.
The latest edition of the National Housing Construction Index, compiled and issued by Link2Plans, reports that the number of planning applications in Kerry increased by four per cent this year, which compares very favourably to the drop of 35 per cent in planning applications experienced in the county last year.
The report, which examined every housing planning application and planning commencement from January to August 2013, found that planning applications made in Kerry increased from 262 in 2012 to 273 this year.
However, the commencement rate fell by 29 per cent - from 180 in January to August 2012 to 128 in the same period in 2013.
Compared to a decrease of 16 per cent in commencements last year, the rate of decline of commencements has increased and this signals a negative trend in the construction sector in Kerry at the moment.
However, the report noted that the stabilisation in planning applications in Kerry "is a significant improvement" from previous years.
"Because the rate of applications has stabilised, commencements may begin to recover and we may see an improvement in commencements later in the year," the report said.