13,300 new homes contribute to 44pc rise in new-builds
Work has started on more than 13,300 new homes this year, a 44pc rise over the same period of 2016.
New figures from the Department of Housing showed that work started on 13,329 houses and apartments between January and September, of which 3,746 are one-off units. The remaining 9,583 are either apartments or homes in housing developments, which will be sold on the open market.
The statistics also showed that the bulk of the new-builds under construction are in Dublin, or 5,347, where demand is highest. This includes 277 one-off units. In the Greater Dublin Area, which includes Dublin, Kildare, Wicklow and Meath, the number rises to 7,877, with 836 of these one-off units.
The figures showed a marked rise compared with the first nine months of 2016, when 9,240 units were built, an increase of 4,089, or 44pc. Experts suggest that at least 25,000 new homes are needed every year to meet demand, but given the low rate of completions over the past number of years, the pent-up figure is likely to be higher.
However, separate figures showed that some 13,500 homes have been connected to the ESB network in the first nine months of this year, the highest rate since 2009 and which suggest that building activity is ramping up.
ESB connections are used by the Department of Housing to indicate that a new unit has become available, but it includes homes that have been vacant for two years or more, or units built in previous years but never occupied.
The data from the Department of Housing showed that some 13,533 homes have been connected to the network, of which 8,821 are apartments and estate houses. The remainder are one-off homes. The figure is the highest level since the first nine months of 2009, when 20,357 homes were connected.
Some 4,329 are in Dublin, followed by 1,458 in Cork city and county, 727 in Galway city and county, 419 in Limerick city and county and 278 in Waterford city and county. The lowest number is in Longford at 114, and the highest is in Cork County at 1,317.
The lack of supply is fuelling higher house purchase prices and rents, and contributing to a record number of people being classed as homeless, up to 8,400. Some 99,555 households are on social housing waiting lists, up 9pc year on year.
Sinn Féin housing spokesman Eoin Ó Broin said that figures from South Dublin County Council suggested that the homeless crisis was not being resolved, with 194 individuals or families presenting as homeless for the first time in October, the highest monthly number this year. In 2017, some 1,347 'new' homeless presentations were made, and 459 families and individuals are in emergency accommodation.
"These figures are alarming as they show a significant upward trend in the number both presenting and being placed in emergency accommodation," he said.