The latest house completion analysis makes for interesting reading. Irish Construction Industry Magazine sets outs the essential trends and got the reaction of a leading industry figure plus the
Housing Minister.

Firstly, according to the Central Statistics Office (CSO), in the second quarter of 2018, there were 4,419 new dwelling completions, compared with 3,295 completions in the same period last year, an increase of 34.1%.

The second quarter figures also show that: single dwellings increased by 11.8% from 1,037 in the second quarter of 2017 to 1,159 in quarter two of 2018. Scheme dwellings rose significantly in Q2 2018 when 2,761 were built, an increase of 54.4% on Q2 2017 when 1,788 were built.

The number of new apartments built in Q2 2018 was 499, an increase of 6.2% on Q2 2017. Of the total number of new dwelling completions in Q2 2018, scheme dwellings made up 62.5%, single dwellings 26.2% with apartments totalling  11.3%. The primary data source used for the New Dwellings Completions series is the ESB Networks new domestic connections dataset where the date that the connection is energised determines the date of completion. It is accepted that the ESB domestic connections dataset is overestimating new dwellings and the CSO has adjusted for this overcount by using additional information from ESB and other data sources.

ESB connections are classified into four categories: new dwelling completions, UFHDs, reconnections and non-dwellings.

The New Dwelling Completions series is based on the number of domestic dwellings connected by the ESB Network to the electricity supply and may not accord precisely with county or Eircode Routing Key boundaries. The dwelling type (single, scheme, apartment) and urban-rural divide is defined by the ESB Network. The CSO has utilised other available data sources to validate and enhance the ESB connections dataset. However, this was only possible where the connections dataset could be confidently linked to another dataset using unique identifiers or by address matching. As the level of Eircode collection, coverage and storage increases across data sources in the housing sector, it is expected that the precision of estimates on new dwelling completions can be further enhanced.
Looking at student accommodation and the CSO says that there has been a significant level of construction output in the student accommodation sector. These are generally connected to the ESB network as commercial connections and are therefore not included in the ESB domestic connections dataset and have also not been included in ESB connections released by DHPLG. The data available on this sector is on a “bed space” basis and it is not currently possible to report on it as dwellings, which are self-contained units of living accommodation. Based on consultation with stakeholders in this sector, student accommodation may be included in future New Dwelling Completions reports as a separate category. In Q2 2018, 303 bed spaces were completed in the student accommodation sector.

For a more extensive article see our September/October Issue of Irish Construction Industry Magazine available on subscription, contact Linda Doran



The Government is to launch the new Land Development Agency, which it says will coordinate State owned lands for regeneration and development, and open up sites for the provision of housing.

It will be funded to the tune of €1.25 billion and will have the power to use State land and to buy private lands on which potentially thousands of homes will be built across the country.

The Government believes the new agency could lead to the construction of more than 150,000 homes over the next 20 years.

They will include social, affordable and private homes.

The new organisation will be run along commercial lines and it will see the State forming joint ventures with builders and developers to provide homes.

It is understood there will be a requirement that one third of homes built on State lands will have to be affordable ones.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has already said this initiative will be viewed in the future as being on par with the establishment of the ESB and the IDA.

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Eoghan Murphy brought proposals for its establishment to a Cabinet meeting recently.

RTE News



The latest Goodbody’s BER Housebuilding Tracker suggests that new output grew by 77% in 2017, but output still needs to treble from here to catch up with estimated demand.

Irish house completions grew rapidly in 2017, according to Goodbody. Some 9,513 new homes were issued with a Building Energy Rating (BER) certificate last year, up 77% year-on-year. Although it is difficult to estimate precisely, Goodbody believes that 1,000-1,500 houses per annum are completed without a BER cert (mainly one-offs).

Using this assumption, there were c.11, 000 units completed in Ireland in 2017. This compares to the 19,271 electricity connections, which Goodbody believes is significantly overstating the level of new build in Ireland at the current time.

The Greater Dublin Area dominates new housebuilding activity. Housebuilding activity grew strongly across the country last year, albeit from a low level. Dublin accounted for 51% (4,848) of the new build last year, with a further 22% (2,094) completed in the surrounding counties of Wicklow, Meath and Kildare. As a comparison, 40% of the population lives in these four counties, according to Census 2016.

For a more extensive article see our January/February Issue of Irish Construction Industry Magazine available on subscription, contact Linda Doran



According to Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy, the Department of the Environment, Local Government spend for 2018 will be €2.394 billion. Within that, housing is by far and away the biggest programme. €1.9 billion will be available for housing next year, an increase of €600m, or 46%.

He says: “This investment is directly aimed at addressing our housing shortage and homelessness crisis. It represents an increase of 62% on the capital side – to build new homes – and 35% on the current side to over €760m – to support homelessness, as well as supporting people into new social housing tenancies.

“Looking beyond 2018, I have secured an extra €500 million for capital investment in social housing in the years 2019 to 2021, which will allow us to increase the Rebuilding Ireland social housing target from 47,000 to 50,000 homes, the figure recommended last year by the Special Oireachtas Committee on Housing.

“That is new money that wasn’t in Rebuilding Ireland to date and which will deliver more social housing homes. And because of the changes I announced at the Housing Summit, the stock of homes that will actually be built directly by LAs and AHBs will also increase.”

In terms of the Build Programme, the Minister says: “We will almost double our social housing output next year in terms of direct build, moving from 2,000 this year to 3,800 next year. In 2015 this number was less than 500. The budget for Local Authorities will increase by over 100% to enable them to meet their targets.
“If you add in Part Vs, vacancy conversions, acquisitions, and long-term leases – 7,900 new homes with all the security and affordability that social housing brings, will be created. Will this alone solve our waiting list problem or meet all of the needs of our people? No it will not. That’s why those figures will increase again the next year, and the year after that, and the year after that.

“We will get to 10,000 new Social housing homes in to the Housing stock: we can’t do it next year – but we should be there by 2020. Which is something again when you look back to our numbers as recently as 2015.

“Until we have those houses built, we will continue to support people in to rented accommodation through the HAP payments. This budget effectively doubles to over 300m and will support 17,000 new tenancies next year.

For a more extensive article see our November/December Issue of Irish Construction Industry Magazine available on subscription, contact Linda Doran



Initiative Ireland has announced that Ireland’s first syndicated property finance platform, which it is scheduling to launch in September, aims to finance €60
million in construction loans to build approximately 250 new family homes over the next 18 months.

Initiative Ireland will enable the company’s private syndicate members to participate in the funding of secured real estate loans across Ireland. Specialising in residential development finance, the company aims to support the construction of 250 new family homes by December 2018, while offering its private syndicate members the ability to earn 3.50% APR to 7.50% APR for their committed funds.

All loans are professionally managed by Initiative Ireland, on behalf of its members from end to end. A minimum commitment of €10,000 is required per loan from members. The company is currently accepting membership applications from private individuals and institutions interested in lending €100,000 or more via its digital platform.
Supported by Enterprise Ireland as a high-potential start-up, and headquartered at NovaUCD, the company was founded in 2015 by an experienced financial services team, with the goal of providing increased financial inclusion, competition and sustainability to the Irish finance market.

Eoghan Murphy TD, Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, welcoming the announcement said, “Addressing the housing crisis requires innovation and initiative. It is great to see Irish firms, like Initiative Ireland, responding to the market need with new sustainable solutions. I welcome their goal of making finance available at affordable rates to smaller developers, which is a necessary component if we want to see the activation of dormant sites.”

Padraig W. Rushe, CEO, Initiative Ireland said, “Individuals and institutions can now register for membership at and be among the first to gain access to what is an exclusive secured asset class, often available only to Banks and specialist institutions.”

He added, “Moreover, at a time when the country is in desperate need of housing, our initiative will offer competitive returns and terms to our private members, while supporting the construction of much needed family homes across Ireland.”

For a more extensive article see our July/August Issue of Irish Construction Industry Magazine available on subscription, contact Linda Doran