Number of housing starts passes 30,500 after ‘enormous pick-up’

Davy may increase forecasts after figures shows highest annual number since 2008

Construction has begun on more than 3,200 homes in the past month, bringing the total figure over the previous 12 months to over 30,500 – the highest annual figure since July 2008, according to Davy.

The commencement notices published by the Department of Housing on Thursday show that a start on 3,203 residential units was notified to building control authorities in September. This represents a 48 per cent increase on August.

The data show that, in the year to September, 30,519 residential units were commenced, up 40 per cent year-on-year, when compared to the same period to September 2020.

Of these, 19,600 were outside Dublin, which, Davy said, was more likely to be traditional housing rather than apartment developments. “Indeed, we have obtained unpublished Department of Housing data which indicate that roughly two-thirds of the starts over the past year have been houses rather than apartments,” it said in a note to clients.


Davy said the “enormous pick-up” in housing starts, well above the 20,500 completions in 2020, posed “upside risks” to its existing forecasts. The broker revised up its forecast for Irish mortgage lending only last week to €12.1 billion in 2022 and €14.2 billion in 2023 – from €11.2 billion and €12.5 billion previously – on the basis of 29,000 homes being completed next year, up from 26,000 previously.

“Clearly, September’s housing starts figures show even more momentum in the homebuilding sector,” it said. “Typically, there has been a 12-month lag between starts and completions – pointing to upside risks to our forecast.

“That said, the lag-lead relationship may have become extended as apartment development has grown.”

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson is an Irish Times reporter