Planning permissions for new homes fall 30% due to Covid-19

CSO figures show number of permissions granted between April and June was 6,807

Planning permissions for houses and apartments fell by nearly 30 per cent in the second quarter as a result of the Covid-19 crisis, according to the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

The agency said the number of planning permissions granted for dwelling units between April and June was 6,807, of which 3,744 were apartments and 3,063 were houses.

This was 29.2 per cent down on the same quarter last year.

The number of apartment units for which planning permission had been granted decreased by 20 per cent.


Planning permissions for apartment rose considerably last year on the back of an overhaul to the apartment planning guidelines in March 2018, which made it more economic for developers to build.

Planning permissions are an imperfect guide to future building activity as many permissions never translate into homes.

Some are sought just to add value to land; or to alter or extend existing provisions. Equally, many building projects fail for financial reasons before the building phase begins.

The imposition of restrictions to curb the coronavirus resulted in the closure of building sites for approximately two months.

This is expected to stymie the supply of new homes coming onto the market here.

The Central Bank is now predicting just 16,000 housing completions this year, instead of 26,000.

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy is Economics Correspondent of The Irish Times