Construction of new homes soars by 132% but still lags demand

But Government and ESRI say 25,000 houses need to be built annually to satisfy demographic trends

An index of house building in the Republic shows that while activity is up sharply on 
on
last year, construction started on just 3,524 new homes between the beginning of January and the end of April this year. Photograph: David Davies/PA Wire

An index of house building in the Republic shows that while activity is up sharply on on last year, construction started on just 3,524 new homes between the beginning of January and the end of April this year. Photograph: David Davies/PA Wire

 

Builders began work on 3,500 new homes during the first four months of the year, according to figures published today. While this represents an increase of 132 per cent on the same period in 2013, when just 2007 new homes were commenced, it is unlikely to be enough to meet demand, given that both the Government and ESRI agree that about 25,000 houses need to be built annually to satisfy current demographic trends.

An index of house building in the Republic shows that while activity is up sharply on last year, construction started on just 3,524 new homes between the beginning of January and the end of April this year. Of that, Dublin, where the Republic’s housing squeeze is at its tightest, accounted for 676 new starts, one in five of the total.

The shortage of family homes in the capital drove house prices up by 14 per cent last year.

The Government and the city’s four local authorities are attempting to tackle the crisis by setting up a task force. One of its priorities will be to identify obstacles to developments going ahead.

The National Housing Construction Index, published by consultancy Link2plans, shows that both planning applications for new homes and commencements rose strongly during the first four months of the year.

The number of commencements was up 132 per cent on the 2007 begun during the same period in 2013.