The number of new homes being built has fallen to its lowest level in 40 years. Just 8,488 houses were finished last year - down nearly 2,000, or 20%, on the previous year.
The Construction Industry Federation is warning that number will fall even further this year.
At the building peak in 2006, 93,000 homes were built.
According to the latest CIF Housing Statistics Bulletin, the largest number of house completions during 2012 were in Dublin, Cork and Galway respectively.
The group said it was concerned about the impact of six years of decline on the country's housing stock.
The ESRI estimates that the country needs between 15,000 and 20,000 new homes to be built each year to keep up with demand.