Construction sector remains positive despite dramatic drop in one-off houses

The figures from the Link2Plans National Housing Construction Index reveal that in the first six months of 2015 there has been a fall in activity in the residential construction sector when compared to 2014.

A dramatic drop in the construction of one-off houses has been the main contributing factor, as the number of commencements for one-off houses fell by over -40% year-on-year.

Overall, sentiment in the sector remains positive for the medium term however, as the latest edition of the National Housing Construction Index from Link2Plans shows that planning applications have risen +14% in the first six months of 2015 when compared to the same period in 2014, but project commencements have fallen nationally by -26% year on year.

The data contained in the National Housing Construction Index is aggregated by consultancy Link2Plans from real time planning and project information in every local authority area, with the latest edition of the National Housing Construction Index tracking every project from January through to June 2015, and comparing it with the same period in 2014.

According to Danny O’Shea Managing Director of Link2Plans “Two very distinct themes have emerged in the Irish residential construction sector in the first half of 2015. Firstly, when compared to the same period in 2014, there has been consistent bi-monthly growth in the number of project applications which shows continued confidence in the sector. Secondly, commencements are down quite dramatically when compared to 2014 on account of the new building regulations introduced on 1st March of that year, which created a once off spike in the number of projects started.”

“Commencements fell by -26% nationally in the first half of 2015 when compared to same period in 2014, with every county apart from Wicklow, recording a fall in the number of project commencements. Applications however have returned strong growth for the first six months of 2015 when compared to 2014, with a +14% increase and every county except Dublin recording a rise. A more accurate barometer of the recovery in the Irish residential construction sector is the +22% increase in the number of commencements in the first six months of 2015 when compared to the same period in 2013.” continued Danny O’Shea Managing Director of Link2Plans.

Danny O’Shea Managing Director of Link2Plans said that “nationally, in the first half of 2015 the number of project commencements fell by 1,063 from 4,080 to 3,017 when compared with the same period in 2014, with Wicklow the only county to record an increase with +1%. The smallest year on year decreases were in Dublin (-3%), Kilkenny (-7%), Waterford (-10%) and Cavan (-11%).”

Applications up +14% nationally

“The number of planning applications in the first six months of 2015 rose by 893 from 6,503 to 7,396, representing an increase of +14% nationally year on year. Leitrim, Laois and Westmeath were the best performing counties for the first six months of 2015 when compared to 2014, recording growth of +74%, +66% and +48% respectively. Offaly (+43%), Louth (+43%), Donegal (+35%) and Longford (+32%) also returned significant increases while Dublin (-5%) was the only county to record a fall in the number of planning applications.” states O’Shea.

Number of Multi-Unit Developments triple in two years

Project commencements can be divided into three categories including residential developments (multiple unit developments), one-off housing (self-build projects) and one-off housing extensions (self- build extensions).

“Another metric which points to the upward turn in the residential construction sector over the last two years is the huge increase in the number of multi-unit developments. For instance, for the whole of 2013, there were commencements for 72 multi-unit developments, while in the just the first half of 2015, the number has tripled with commencements for 232 projects.” says O’Shea.

The National Housing Construction Index is produced by a team of researchers at Link2Plans and it relates to all Planning Applications and Project Commencements throughout the months of January to June 2015 and gives a direct comparison with the same period in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Link2Plans have produced this index bi-monthly and it has been the most accurate barometer of real time sentiment (planning applications) and actual residential construction activity (project commencements) including residential developments (multi-units), one-off housing (self-build) and one-off housing extensions.

For more information visit: www.link2plans.com