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Building of houses 'at a standstill'

NEW house building has come to a standstill in many counties.

According to statistics from the Department of Environment -- based on figures submitted by Homebond -- in 15 counties in September, no new house registrations were recorded.

The figures show that for the entire year to the end of September, Homebond has recorded no new house registrations in Leitrim and Longford, while Cavan recorded only one. Monaghan, Roscommon and Westmeath each recorded three.

Registrations are lodged with Homebond when work commences on new homes.

The department figures show that no new house registrations were recorded in Carlow, Cavan, Clare, Kerry, Longford, Mayo, Monaghan, Wicklow, Westmeath, Roscommon, Offaly, Laois, Leitrim, Louth and Waterford during September.

The figures for September show that there were 17 new homes registered in Dublin, with 15 in Cork and three in Limerick.

The figures show that new house registrations for the first nine months totalled 625 -- this compares with 1,476 for the corresponding period last year -- a drop of 57pc.

Sherry FitzGerald chief economist Marian Finnegan said: "The figures are not a shock. The market has effectively stopped producing new homes and there is very, very little new construction."

Ms Finnegan warned: "It is very worrying because we are not planning for the future. We are living in the present and, with population growth, there will be a demand for 30,000 new units per annum."

Ms Finnegan said there were around 27,000 units of unsold homes that were complete or nearly complete.

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