Monday 26 February 2018

Work has yet to start on 23,000 homes in capital which have permission

Despite local authorities approving about 40,000 new homes, work has yet to begin on the vast majority. Stock picture
Despite local authorities approving about 40,000 new homes, work has yet to begin on the vast majority. Stock picture
Paul Melia

Paul Melia

Construction work has yet to begin on some 23,000 homes in the capital despite full planning permission being in place.

Figures from the Department of Housing show that despite the shortage of new homes coming on to the market, there is no activity on 203 sites from a total of 348 where permission for new homes has been secured.

The figures suggest that of the 37,000 units with full planning permission, just one in three have been completed or are being built. The houses and apartments are all planned on sites with roads access and full services, including water and power.

A lack of housing supply is resulting in substantial price hikes and increases in monthly rents, particularly in Dublin where demand for homes is highest.

Despite local authorities approving almost 40,000 new homes over recent years, work has yet to begin on the vast bulk.

In some cases, it's because developers cannot secure finance, but agencies and lobby groups including the Society of Chartered Surveyors and State bad-bank Nama have also suggested some are hoarding land in the expectation house prices will rise further.

The figures show:

* Some 36,936 homes have been approved across the four local authorities. More than 13,000 of these were given the green light in the past 30 months.

* Some 7,975, or 21pc of the total, have been completed.

* Another 5,261 are under construction.

* Work has yet to begin on some 23,700, or 64pc of the total approved.

The figures also show that in the area covered by Dublin City Council, some 7,277 units have permission but no work has started on 5,643 or 77pc.

There has been no work on two-thirds of those approved in Fingal and South Dublin, while in Dún-Laoghaire Rathdown, some 6,659 were granted permission and work has started on almost half, or 46pc.

The most recent figures from the Central Statistics Office show the number of homes approved has increased by 50pc year on year.

In the first three months of this year, 4,650 units were approved compared with 3,091 in the same period of 2016.

While a welcome boost and an indication of intent to deliver homes, key to addressing the housing crisis will be ensuring the permissions translate into construction on the ground.

Some 30,000 to 35,000 houses and apartments are needed every year to meet demand and dampen house price and rental costs.

Work has started on just 1,465 homes in the Dublin area in the first quarter of 2017, of which 82 are one-off units.

Irish Independent

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