Residential construction rebounds as restrictions ease

CSO construction data shows big increase in second quarter of 2021

Residential construction rebounded strongly in the second quarter of 2021 with output increasing by 52 per cent, according to the Central Statistics Office (CSO)

Non-essential construction work was halted in early January amid a pick-up in Covid-19 cases and only restarted again in April, skewing the quarterly comparisons. Nonetheless a faster-than-expected recovery in residential construction is forecast to see up to 22,000 homes built this year and as many as 27,000 next year.

The CSO figures show construction output as a whole rose by 7.7 per cent between April and June and by 26.3 per cent on an annual basis in the second quarter.


The residential sector showed the largest quarterly increase with a rise of 52.6 per cent in the seasonally adjusted volume index while the civil engineering sector increased by 30.6 per cent. The non-residential sector increased by 2.2 per cent.


Non-essential construction sites were closed in the early part 2021 and reopened in a phased manner in the second quarter, the CSO said.

“This should be kept in mind while interpreting the quarterly sectoral changes,” it said.

The Government’s Housing for All strategy aims to deliver an additional 300,000 housing units by 2030, which works out at approximately 33,000 a year.

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy is Economics Correspondent of The Irish Times