Housing completions down ‘but not as bad as feared’

New dwelling completions down 20.1% on annual basis

The number of new homes built fell by 20.1 per cent in the first quarter compared to the same period a year ago due to the Covid crisis and its associated restrictions.

New figures published by the Central Statistics Office show there were 3,953 new dwelling completions in the first three months of 2021, versus 4,945 in early 2020.

Dermot O’Leary, chief economist with Goodbody said the figures show the impact of the Covid lockdown on housing completions was not as bad as feared.

“With housing sites now fully opened, we expect the full-year completions to be in line with last year at 21,000, but supply still remains well below annual demand,” he said.


“The bigger impact though has been in relation to commencements, which have fallen by 50 per cent year-on-year in the three months to February. This means that there is a lagged pandemic impact to come, with flatter output trends in the coming years,” Mr O’Leary added.


The number of apartments completed fell by 26.9 per cent from 1,008 to 737. The number of scheme dwellings was down 21 per cent from 2,842 to 2,245.

The decrease in completions was lowest for single dwellings, with an 11.3 per cent decrease from 1,095 to 971.

Scheme dwellings made up 56.8 per cent of all new first-quarter completions, while 24.6 per cent were single dwellings and 18.6 per cent were apartments.

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist