State expects 19,000 houses to be built by year end
Government projects that 23,000 houses will be finished by 2018
Conference delegates heard the Irish population is expected to grow to 6 million by 2040 with Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford increasing in size by 50 per cent which would necessitate half a million homes being built. Photograph: Cyril Byrne
The Government expects 19,000 houses to be completed by the end of this year and a further 23,000 houses to be finished by 2018.
Speaking at a Property Industry Ireland conference, Damien English, the Minister for Housing and Urban Development, said the Government was confident that “the trends are going in the right direction in terms of supply”.
However, the expectation for the construction of 42,000 houses between this year and next is based on ESB housing connection data, which, others have argued, can overstate the level of new builds.
In 2016, the Department of Housing suggested that just under 15,000 homes were built. However, Dublin architect Mel Reynolds said the actual level of new builds was probably closer to 8,000.
Conference delegates heard that the Irish population is expected to grow to 6 million people by 2040 with Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford increasing in size by 50 per cent which would necessitate half a million homes being built.
With that in mind, the Minister stressed that “housing is the number one priority for the Government because it’s the number one issue affecting all sectors”.
While the Minister acknowledged the depth of Ireland’s housing crisis he pointed out that the solution will come on the supply side and he told the conference of property developers that without their involvement, the rebuilding Ireland plan won’t work.
Speaking on why big industry is choosing certain cities in the aftermath of Brexit, Alastair Marshall, a partner at Cushman and Wakefield, pointed to Ireland’s housing shortage as one of the reasons why a number of company’s have chosen Frankfurt over Dublin as their post-Brexit hubs.
However, Mr Marshall noted that “Dublin is widely recognised across all of the US corporates as having one of the best business environments [in Europe]”. While he pointed to the housing shortage as a problem, Mr Marshall also said that commercial property was unlikely to play heavily in any relocation decision because they’re “broadly comparable” across Europe.
Also pointing to the housing shortage as a problem was Mary Buckley, an executive director at IDA Ireland. “Clients are disappointed and would like to see improvements in the area of costs and availability of personal housing,” she said. However, Ms Buckley too noted that from a commercial property perspective “Ireland is very highly regarded”.