Sunday 22 April 2018

House building on up - but still lags behind demand

Despite the demand for semi-detached homes, apartment registrations saw the biggest rise. Stock picture
Despite the demand for semi-detached homes, apartment registrations saw the biggest rise. Stock picture
Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

House building continues to pick up, while the Irish love affair with the semi-detached homes shows little sign of waning.

There has also been a strong rise in the number of homeowners having renovation work done, as well as a mini-boom in flat-pack assembly.

New figures show that a total of 835 new homes were registered in January, up 52pc on last year, according to Goodbody Stockbrokers.

This means that close to 10,000 new homes were registered in the year up to last month.

Semi-detached homes represented the most popular type of unit completed in January, according to economist Dermot O'Leary of Goodbody.

He uses building energy ratings (BER) registrations to track supply.

The analysis shows that 9,765 new homes were registered in the 12 months to the end of January, which represented a year-on-year increase of 73pc.

But despite the increase, the total is still less than a third of estimated demand.

Mr O'Leary's figures show that three out of four homes completed in January were in the Greater Dublin Area.

Half of these were in Dublin county, with around a third in the commuter counties of Meath, Kildare and Wicklow.

Goodbody said that although semi-detached houses represented the most popular type of home completed in January, they were not the fastest growing sector of the market.

There was a need for high-density apartment blocks to avoid urban sprawl, Mr O'Leary added.

Registrations for new apartments increased by 68pc in the year to January, accounting for 19pc of new supply.

Mr O'Leary said that 38pc of the new supply in Dublin were apartments, but the number remains "depressingly low".

Meanwhile, a survey of tradesmen has revealed there is now a mini-boom in flat-pack assembly.

Rising incomes have also led to a surge in domestic window cleaning, according to Onlinetradesmen.ie.

The average spend by consumers on the likes of having bathrooms retiled and new floors installed has also risen, by 6pc to €4,150.

The average spend figure is still well down from the €5,600 reached in 2008, according to Onlinetradesmen.ie, a resource for finding details and getting quotes from 10,000 tradesmen and builders.

The projects being carried out at the moment range from small refurbishment and decorating jobs, to kitchen extensions.

Managing director of the service Ted Laverty said homeowners were now willing to spend more and are getting more ambitious on the scale of the projects they are undertaking.

"Luxury services such as domestic window cleaning and flat-pack assembly are now experiencing a mini-boom as the 'get it done' movement increases within affluent regions," he said.

Dublin accounted for the largest volume of home improvement jobs in the index followed by counties Cork and Galway.

Irish Independent

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