2021 home completions fall short of forecasts

A late surge in activity in the final three months of 2021 saw overall home completions reach 20,443, far below the 35,000 new homes the ESRI says are needed each year to meet demand
2021 home completions fall short of forecasts

While home completions remain below pre-pandemic levels, there was a surge in new home commencements last year. File picture: Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews.ie

The number of new homes built last year was on a par with 2020 as the pandemic continued to impact the construction sector.

New figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show a late surge in activity in the final three months of 2021 saw overall home completions reach 20,443, a slight reduction of 0.5% on 2020 figures.

The number of apartments rose 30.3% to 5,107, with apartments now accounting for a quarter of all completions, the highest proportion since the CSO first began gathering the data in 2011.

The number of new homes built in 2020 and 2021 are below the 21,241 homes built in 2019 and far below the 35,000 new homes, which the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) says are needed each year to meet demand.

In their most recent economic commentary, the ESRI blamed the pandemic restrictions on the construction sector for the reduction in home completions. 

The 2021 figures still fall slightly short of their prediction of 21,000 home completions last year. However, the ESRI notes that the number of new home construction commencements last year was above pre-pandemic levels and forecast 26,000 new homes coming on to the market this year.

According to the CSO, just under a third (30.3%) of completions in 2021 were in Dublin (6,201). Cork county had the highest number of single home completions in the year at 503.

The surge in apartment developments also means the average size of new Irish homes continues to fall.

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