Following the end of lockdown restrictions on the building sector in Ireland back in April, home construction has been on a strong rebound. According to the most recent GeoView Residential Buildings Report, almost 19,000 houses were under construction throughout June. This figure is a 38.4 percent increase from the previous year.
The CEO of GeoDirectory, Dara Keogh had stated that June 2021 saw over 5,000 more home units in construction compared to June of 2020. Furthermore, the company’s database has documented above 25,000 new residential addresses within the last year.
When comparing the construction levels to those of June 2016, June 2021’s figures are 4.3 times higher. Excluding Dublin, building pursuits were highest in Cork accounting for 11.6 percent of the country total. Following Cork are Kildare, Meath, Louth, and Galway, which account for 9.7 percent, 7.5 percent, 7.2 percent, and 6.1 percent respectively.
Despite the construction boost, a report from EY Economic Advisory demonstrates that the status of home property transactions are still lower than levels experienced before the pandemic. Though the supply levels of new homes fall short in matching demand, data trends allude that construction is moving in the correct direction.
Even though there is a very high demand for housing, a report shows that there were actually 92,135 vacant residencies throughout Ireland in June. This puts the national average vacancy rate at 4.5 percent, the same figure witnessed in 2020.
As even more pandemic restrictions are loosened, the lack of affordable housing poses a significant challenge to Ireland. Many anticipate the government’s Housing For All scheme, which will publicize all housing policies and programs until 2030. The plan was originally meant to be released at the end of July 2021, however, it has disappointingly been pushed back to the end of August or early September.
Based on the Banking and Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI), there had also been a boom in mortgage approvals in June at an 11 percent increase from May and 129.9 percent increase from June 2020. Out of a total of 2,203 mortgages in June, 2,755 (53 percent) accounted for first-time buyers and 1,273 (24.5 percent) accounted for mover purchasers.
A different report from the BPFI regarding mortgage drawdowns within a three-month period to June demonstrates that there was a critical increase in mortgage prices and quantities. During the year’s second quarter, 9,623 new mortgages with a total valuation at €2.2 billion were drawn. In comparison to the same period of last year, there has been a 45.4 percent increase in the quantity of mortgages and a 52.5 percent increase in value.
Healy, Alan. “House Construction Rebounds Strongly But Shortages Remain.” Irish Examiner, 27 July 2021, https://www.irishexaminer.com/business/economy/arid-40345814.html.