Residential house building falls by 50pc
Residential housing commencements fell 51pc year-on-year in the first four months of 2015, with the country in the grip of a housing shortage, according to consultancy firm Link2Plans' National Housing Construction Index.
Link2Plans managing director Danny O'Shea said the first half of 2014 was unusual because of "structural changes in the market, which saw the introduction of new buildings regulations".
"These one-off changes in the sector created a major injection in construction activity in that period. When compared with previous years such as 2013, we do see growth in the construction sector," he added.
Construction Industry Federation (CIF) director general and former junior finance minister Tom Parlon said Ireland was not building enough houses to meet the population's requirements.
However, he said there was "no doubt" that sentiment was improving in the industry every month.
"CIF members' companies are cautiously optimistic and the figures... show that planning applications are up by 18pc when compared with the same period in 2014," he said.
"The increase in house building activity is, however, coming from a very low base and as a country we will be nowhere near the Government and ESRI target of 25,000 residential units per year to meet the demographic needs of the country."