Huge rise in number of planning permissions granted last year

New figures permissions for apartments surpassed houses for the first time in 2019

The number of planning permissions granted last year rose by 38 per cent to just over 40,000, according to new figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

Overall, permissions were granted for 40,252 dwelling units in 2019 with permissions for apartments surpassing those for houses for the first time. In the prior year, some 29,102 dwelling units received planning permissions.

According to CSO, permissions were granted for 20,582 apartments last year, up 125 per cent on the 9,138 units granted in 2018 and the highest number since 2007.This number is still below the peak of 32077 units, which occurred in 2004.

Permissions were granted for 19,670 houses, down 1.5 per cent compared to the 19,964 in 2018 and the first recorded decline since 2012.


Last year, 62.4 per cent of the apartments granted planning permission were via Strategic Housing Development (SHD) applications. This is where applications for developments of at least 100 residential units or 200 plus student bed spaces can be made directly to An Bord Pleanála.

Overall, permissions were granted for 3,965 new houses and 12,841 new apartment units via SHD applications last year, the figures show.

The total number of planning permissions granted for all developments in 2019 was 27,921, up 5 per cent on the prior year. Of this, almost 26 per cent of permissions were for new dwellings, 30 per cent for “other new constructions” and 44 per cent for extensions, alterations and conversions.

During the fourth quarter, permissions were granted for 12,558 dwelling units, up 87.9 per cent versus the same quarter a year earlier.

Some 7,659 apartment units and 4,899 houses received permissions, up 232.1 per cent and 12 per cent respectively versus the fourth quarter of 2018. In the same three-month period a year earlier, just 2,306 apartments were granted permissions.

One-off houses accounted for 10.1 per cent of all new dwelling units granted planning permission in the fourth quarter.

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist