Friday 24 May 2019

House completions increase at slowest pace in six years

(stock photo)
(stock photo)
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

The number of housing schemes completed in the first three months of 2019 grew at the slowest pace in six years.

There were around 2,358 units completed in housing schemes in the first quarter of this year.

This represents annual growth of 16pc year-on-year, the slowest rate of growth since 2013, according to the latest ‘Building Energy Rating (BER) Housing Tracker’ from Goodbody.

Meanwhile, apartment completions grew by 64pc year-on-year in the three month period.

However, as apartments represent fewer than one in five of the total completions of residential units, the proportion of output coming from apartments remains quite small.

The build-to-rent sector will be the biggest driver of the growth in apartments, according to the report.

"Without this investment, it is likely that the output in the sector would be much lower in the coming period due to viability and funding constraints," Dermot O’Leary, chief economist at Goodbody, said.

Overall, there were 4,255 residential units completed in Ireland in the first three months of 2019. This represents growth of 22pc year-on-year.

While the growth rate is similar to that at the end of last year, it is much lower than the 30pc growth rate witnessed in the first half of 2018.

"This growth is in line with our full year forecast of 22,000 completions at this stage, although there are broader signs that we may see a slowing in the rate of growth through the rest of the year," Mr O’Leary said.

Dublin and its surrounding counties (Mid-East) accounted for just over half of the total completions in the three months to 31 March.

During the period housing completions in Dublin grew by 15pc year-on-year, while completions in the Mid-East area grew by 35pc.

"Given the dominance of jobs within Dublin, this is creating consequential bottlenecks in public transport and the road network. A way to address this problem is clearly investment in public transport but also a full embracing of density in the capital," Mr O’Leary added.

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