Overwhelming majority of apartment approvals this year are in Dublin and its commuter belt
Planning permissions for apartments have surged to nearly double the rate of house approvals for the first time.
The latest CSO planning statistics published today show that An Bord Pleanála approved plans for 9,698 apartments in the first quarter of this year - and just 5,091 houses.
The overwhelming majority of apartment approvals were in Dublin and its suburbs and reflects, in part, an acceleration in apartment development approvals under fast-track rules for 'strategic' housing.
The CSO said approvals for apartments in the first quarter were 274pc higher than a year ago.
The balance of planning approvals for apartments versus houses has been shifting ever since the Government in 2017 approved fast-track strategic housing rules for developments exceeding 100 units. Last year, permissions for apartments overtook houses for the first time, but only narrowly.
That gap between apartment and house approvals has surged in 2020 - and within the space of a year has turned longer-term patterns on their head. For example, in the first quarter of 2019, An Bord Pleanála and other planning authorities cleared the way for 4,091 houses to be constructed versus just 2,592 apartments.
More than 91pc of all apartment approvals in the first quarter of 2020 were for developments in Dublin and its commuter belt. Just 283 apartment units were approved in the South-West, 111 in the West, 88 in the Mid-West, 82 in the South-East, 59 in the Midlands and 20 along the Border.
Total planning permissions in the first quarter for all developments totaled 6,660, down 4.1pc from a year ago. The CSO said 57.1pc were for new construction, 26.1pc for extensions and 16.9pc for alterations and conversions.