Residential construction surges in first half of 2022 as post-lockdown recovery continues

Number of vacant and derelict properties falls, according to GeoDirectory Residential Buildings Report

Residential construction activity accelerated in the first half of the year, with 22,390 residential buildings under construction in June 2022, according to figures released in the latest GeoDirectory Residential Buildings Report.

The twice-annual residential buildings report, prepared by professional services company EY, found that the number of buildings under construction was 18.4 per cent higher than the corresponding period in 2021, suggesting the sector has made strides in its recovery from pandemic lockdowns.

“This activity indicates a strong pipeline of residential properties that we would expect to enter the market in the months ahead,” said GeoDirectory chief executive Dara Keogh.

Of the total number of buildings, 17.4 per cent were located in Dublin, 14.2 per cent in Kildare and 12 per cent in Cork. The year-on-year increase of buildings under construction in Kildare was a significant 74.4 per cent.

The national vacancy rate decreased by 0.3 percentage points, meanwhile, to 4.2 per cent in the 12 months to June 2022.

In total, 86,708 residential buildings were classified as vacant across Ireland by GeoDirectory, a 5.9 per cent drop when compared with the previous year.

Out of the 26 counties surveyed, the residential vacancy rate decreased in all but one (Wicklow).

The highest vacancy rates in the country were found in the west and northwest of the country. At 12.8 per cent, Leitrim was the county with the highest vacancy rate, although it did post a year-on-year vacancy decline of 2.0 percentage points.

Mayo (11.4 per cent), Roscommon (11 per cent) and Donegal (9.7 per cent) were the other counties to post high vacancy rates.

Dublin was the county with the lowest vacancy rate in the country at 1.5 per cent, closely followed by Kildare at 1.6 per cent, while Meath (2.5 per cent), Waterford (2.6 per cent) and Louth (2.6 per cent) all recorded residential vacancy rates under the 3 per cent mark.

In addition to vacancies, some 21,897 residential address points were classified as derelict. This total was 3.8 per cent lower than the corresponding figure in the second quarter of 2021.

But when vacancies are combined with derelict properties, there is still more than 100,000 potential properties that could re-enter the market, said Mr Keogh.

A total of 34,198 new residential addresses were added to the GeoDirectory database in the 12 months to June 2022. This represents an increase of 34.1 per cent on the total recorded between June 2020 and June 2021.

Dublin had the largest share of new address points, followed by Cork, Kildare, Meath and Wicklow.

Some 57 per cent of all new address points were added in the Greater Dublin Area of Dublin, Meath, Wicklow and Kildare, while Leitrim, Longford and Roscommon had the smallest share of new address points.

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery is an Irish Times journalist writing about media, advertising and other business topics