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There's been a surge in new building projects since January

Project commencements are up 40 per cent, compared to the first 8 months of 2013.

Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

THERE’S BEEN AN increase in the number of planning applications and new projects being commenced since the start of the year, according to stats out this morning.

The National Housing Construction Index is compiled and issued by consultants Link2Plans.

Compared to the first eight months of 2013, project commencements are up 40%, while the number of new planning applications is up by 12%.

The data contained in the index is based on real-time planning and project information from each local authority area in the country.

There was a rise by 132% in the number of new projects being started in the first four months of the year — but that trend’s now been replaced with more restrained expansion.

The 1 March deadline before which projects had to be started to avoid being subjected to new Building Regulations was the main reason for the surge at the start of the year, Managing Director of Link2Plans Danny O’Shea said.

Those projects have now worked their way through the planning system and what we are seeing now is a more accurate picture of the recovery in the residential construction sector.

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The largest year-on-year gains across the country for project commencements took place in Monaghan (+115%), Cork (+79%), Westmeath (+63%), Donegal (+63%) and Sligo (+60%).

Meanwhile, Dublin was the best performing county in terms of planning applications, with a 35% rise in the first 8 months of the year. Commuter belt counties Meath and Wicklow also experienced an increase — up 32% and 31%  respectively.

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About the author:

Daragh Brophy

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