Monday 26 August 2019

New report shows upturn in construction activity

Bill Browne

Figures contained within a new housing report have shown that 2,578 new addresses were added to Cork's stock of residential buildings over the 12-month period to June of this year.

The figure accounted for 10.4% of the total stock of new addresses registered across the country over the period - with a further 1,478 residential buildings listed as being under construction across Cork as June drew to a close.  The figures are contained within the latest GeoView Residential Buildings Report published by GeoDirectory. 

The full report, available to view at, was established jointly by An Post and Ordnance Survey Ireland to create and manage the country's only database of commercial and residential buildings. 

It showed that a total of 5,916 residential property transactions took place in Cork over the 12-month period to April, 18.6% of which were new properties, with the average house price in Cork standing at €262,052. 

This was below the average national average asking price of €289,146, an increase of €15,940 or 5.8% on the 2018 figure. Although it must be pointed out that if you removed the figures for Dublin this figure drops dramatically to €214,679.  The figures contained within the vacancy rate in Cork stood at 4.1%, which was lower than the national average of 4.8%. 

Contained within the report were figures for specific Eircode areas across Cork county, details of which can be seen in the attached panel. They showed that Kinsale was the most expensive place to buy in Cork at an average of €420,265. For the first time the report also contained data on derelict sites, showing that there were 28,539 'derelict address points' in the State at end of June. The figure represents a drop of just 604 in the four years since June 2015. 

Unsurprisingly, the vast majority of these (92.6%) were in rural areas. However, the report focussed specifically on urban locations, covering the 1,300 largest towns in Ireland, where it is considered the major pressures exist for the housing market. It found there were 133 derelict buildings in urban areas of Cork. 

Nationally, the report showed the total stock of residential dwellings stood at 2,009,089, with 54,709 transactions taking place over the 12-month period.  Overall, the report concluded that the GeoDirectory database showed continued growth in new construction activity, with a total of 14,107 buildings being classified as 'under construction' as June drew to a close, compared to the figure for June 2018 of 9,251 - an increase of 4,856 buildings of 52.5%. 

It found that 24,773 new dwellings were added to the database in the 12-months to June 2019, a 1.3% increase on the previous year, with the figure representing 1.2% of total stock. 

More than half of these were added in the greater Dublin area, with the commuter belt counties in Leinster accounting for almost two-thirds of the overall total. In terms of individual counties, Cork came in second behind Dublin accounting for almost 10.4% of new addresses registered.  Commenting on the report GeoDirectory chief executive officer Dara Keogh said the construction industry was "rising to the challenge of demand for housing."  "But, it is clear that there is still some way to go to reach the required level of supply. Construction activity levels are almost four times higher than this stage in 2015 and this is reflected in the number of new property purchases. One in five houses bought in the last twelve months was new," he said. 

However, Annette Hughes the director of EY-DKM Economic Advisory Services, said low Levels of construction outside of Leinster and the Dublin 'commuter belt' showed more needs to be done to "encourage more balanced regional development" in order to attract talent to areas outside Dublin.