The construction industry has insisted it will build 18,000 homes this year, according to its industry body.
The Construction Industry Federation (CIF) said 20,000 new homes will be built in 2018, as the industry ramps up from the 12,666 units it said were built in 2015.
It comes amid increasing concerns from analysts that the Government will need to encourage the building of many more private and social housing for any progress to be made in easing the crisis.
As many as 35,000 new homes may be needed to be built each year to start to meet the pent-up demand, some economists believe.
Earlier this week, the Irish Examiner reported the views of Goodbody chief economist Dermot O’Leary, who said figures used by officials were underestimating the depth of the housing crisis
Citing a survey by Geo- Directory, he said that many more houses will be required to meet demand than official targets have assumed and that the housing crisis will stretch into the next decade.
The chief economist said he believed the number of new homes being built this year was closer to 10,000 at a time when 35,000 new homes a year will be needed to start satisfying demand.
Census data showed that the number of people living in the family home had increased sharply for the first time in decades, suggesting that demand was building up for housing, said Mr O’Leary.
CIF said the construction of a total of 3,860 homes had started in the three months to the end of March, compared with only 958 units started in the same period a year earlier.
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