Partial rebound but new-home builds still weighed by Covid-19 crisis         

CSO figures show 5,021 new homes were built in the three months to the end of June, up sharply from the previous quarter when restrictions on sites were still in place
Partial rebound but new-home builds still weighed by Covid-19 crisis         

Even before the onset of the pandemic, Irish new house completions were running far short of the 35,000 new homes many economists predict are needed annually. Picture: Larry Cummins

The number of new housing units built in the most recent quarter has shown a partial rebound as Covid-19 restrictions on building sites were lifted, but new home building is still weighed by the fallout of the pandemic, official figures suggest.      

The CSO figures show 5,021 new homes were built in the three months to the end of June, up sharply from the previous quarter when restrictions on sites were by and large still in place.

However, the number of new units was up only up 4.6% from the same quarter in 2019, before the onset of the pandemic. 

At 1,333, a large number of all completions, or 26%, were accounted for by apartments.     

Even before the onset of the pandemic, Irish new house completions were running far short of the 35,000 new homes many economists predict are needed annually over many years to let supply come any where to meeting increased demand from a growing and wealthier population. 

Years of lost output

Forecasters predict a strong rebound as the Covid-19 restrictions are fully lifted but they warn the pandemic will result in multiple years of lost output.

The CSO figures show the total completions included the 1,525 homes built in the four local authority areas of Dublin, of which 911, or 60%, were apartments. The vast majority of the new units built in the Dublin City authority area were apartments.                      

There were 1,045 new units were completed in the Mid-East region, which includes Louth, Kildare, Meath, and Wicklow. 

The 665 new homes built in the South-West region of Cork City, Cork County, and Kerry included comparatively few apartments. 

At 230 units, the Midlands region of Laois, Longford, Offaly, and Westmeath had the fewest number of completions in the quarter, according to the CSO data. 

By local election area, Skibereen-West Cork, Midleton, and Macroom posted a significant number of new completions in the quarter, and Blanchardstown-Mulhuddart in north west Dublin had the most completions in the State in the quarter.   

The Economic and Social Research Institute has in recent times urged the Government to borrow €5bn more each year to solve the housing crisis amid fears prices and rents will soar. 

Estate agents have predicted that costly Irish housing prices and rents will likely rise sharply amid the continuing shortages.        

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