Sunday 20 January 2019

Number of completed houses up nearly 40pc

Building targets for each local authority have been set. Stock Image: Bloomberg
Building targets for each local authority have been set. Stock Image: Bloomberg
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

Almost 800 new housing units were completed in February this year, representing a 38pc increase from the same month last year, according to the latest Goodbody Housebuilding Tracker.

In the opening two months of 2018, housing completions grew by 46pc year-on-year to 1,608 units.

Despite the increase in the numbers of completed units, with fewer than 10,000 units completed in the most recent 12-month period, there remains what the report described as "a significant gap between supply and estimated demand of around 35,000".

The Greater Dublin Area continues to account for the bulk of the residential construction, with the strongest growth seen in commuter counties to Dublin, namely Kildare, Meath and Wicklow. Completions more than doubled (up 119pc) in the first two months of the year in these counties.

Semi-detached houses continue to be the most popular type of new-build homes in Ireland, accounting for two in every five units built in the first two months of 2018.

Detached units are the second most popular, while apartment construction remains exceptionally low, representing 15pc of total units.

"New apartment guidelines issued in recent weeks should help in increasing density, but it is also likely to lead to an increase in the price of land ... in any case it will take time for these measures to feed through in the form of increased completions," Dermot O'Leary, economist at Goodbody, said.

Meanwhile, the number of mortgages approved rose by 5pc year-on-year in February, with first-time buyers making up just over 50pc of the approvals.

Overall a total of 3,137 ­mortgages were approved in February 2018, down 0.3pc on January, according to figures from the Banking and Payments Federation of Ireland.

Some 1,580 of the mortgage approvals were for first-time buyers, while mover-purchasers accounted for 808, or 25.8pc, of the approvals.

There was a big jump in re-mortgage/switching approvals on a year-on-year basis, with re-mortgage/switching approvals increasing by 65.5pc in value and by 64pc in volume terms.

Overall the value of mortgage approvals in Ireland was €691m in February, of which first-time buyers accounted for €351m, and €211m by mover-purchasers, with the value of mortgage approvals rising by 11.1pc year-on-year, and by 0.2pc month-on-month.

Irish Independent

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