Irish housing needs to treble to meet demand, report says

Dublin, Wicklow, Meath and Kildare saw the most new housebuilding activity

Irish housing needs to treble to meet demand, report says

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A new report says Irish housing output needs to treble to catch up with estimated demand.

The Building Energy Rating (BER) Housebuilding Tracker from Goodbody says new output grew by 77% in 2017 - with 9,513 new homes issued with a BER certificate last year.

Goodbody says although it is difficult to estimate precisely, it believes between 1,000 to 1,500 houses per annum are completed without a BER cert - but these are mainly one-offs.

It finds that while housebuilding activity grew strongly across the country last year, the greater Dublin area dominated new housebuilding activity.

Dublin accounted for 51% (4,848) of the new build last year, with a further 22% (2,094) completed in the surrounding counties of Wicklow, Meath and Kildare.

Levels of new housebuilding in 2017 | Image: Goodbody

As a comparison, 40% of the population lives in these four counties, according to the 2016 Census.

The most popular type of unit built in Ireland in 2017 was a semi-detached, accounting for 39% of the total.

Detached units accounted for 20%, while apartments made up 16% of the total.

However there are significant differences on a regional basis.

The report says: "Apartments were the most popular type of new build in Dublin, where 1,477 units (31%) were completed.

"Dublin accounted for 95% of the apartment units built in Ireland last year. This reflects the higher cost of building in this sector and the fact that it is uneconomical in the vast majority of the country to build apartments given current sales prices."

The report adds: "With housing output growing by 77% in 2017, the industry is clearly showing signs of life. However, with medium-term housing demand running at c.35K, a trebling of output is still required over the coming years".