Tuesday 12 November 2019

Home building at 8-year high - but short of market needs

There are still not new homes being built
There are still not new homes being built
Paul Melia

Paul Melia

THE number of houses built in 2014 was the highest in eight years but is still far short of what the market requires.

A total of 11,016 units were completed in 2014, an increase of 2,715, or 32pc, on 2013.

But this is far short of the 16,000 units the Housing Agency says are required each year.

Almost half of the units completed were one-off homes, which will also put pressure on supply as they are unlikely to be offered to the market and will not help first-time buyers get on to the property ladder.

There are serious concerns that lack of finance is hampering attempts to increase supply.

The Housing Agency, which advises the Government, says almost 80,000 units are required up to 2018. Based on current supply this figure is unlikely to be met.

Figures from the Department of the Environment also show that just 2,994 homes were built in Dublin where demand is highest.

The figures show:

l A total of 11,016 units were completed last year. This compares with 8,301 in 2013, a rise of one-third.

l But 5,171, or 46pc, are one-off homes.

l Some 3,595 scheme houses, or units in developments, were completed.

l Another 2,250 apartments were built.

The figures also show that units are not being built in the areas of most need.

In Dublin, just 3,268 homes were completed last year. The Housing Agency says there was an "immediate requirement" for 5,663 last year, far more than were completed.

In Cork city, another area of high demand, just 155 units were completed, a 34pc drop on the previous year. Some 1,469 were needed.

In Galway, some 2,316 units are needed up to 2018. Just 87 were completed last year.

Overall, output increased in 22 counties, fell in nine and there was no change in three.

The sharpest fall was in Limerick City, with just 21 units completed, compared with 106 the previous year. There were drops in North Tipperary (down 56pc) and Waterford City (down 55pc). The highest increases were recorded in the four Dublin local authorities. The largest hike was in South Dublin, where output tripled to 832 new homes.

Construction Industry Federation chief Tom Parlon said it was a "positive" development that output had increased for the first time since 2006. That year, some 93,419 homes were built. But he warned: "This is still 14,000 units short of the 25,000 houses that we should be building on an annual basis according to the ESRI and the Government. That is a lot of badly needed housing which is not being built.

"It is adding to upward pressure on prices and rental costs as demand continues to exceed the level of supply. There was also a considerable shortfall in Dublin, the area with the greatest level of demand."

Irish Independent

Also in Business