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Fewer new homes recorded in 2021 but increase in construction by end of year

16.5% more dwellings were under construction in the final quarter of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020.

FEWER NEW HOMES were added to an Irish address database in 2021 than in 2020, but more residential buildings were under construction at the end of last year compared to the same time in 2020.

That’s according to the latest Residential Buildings Report from GeoDirectory and prepared by EY. 

This showed that 18,047 new residential addresses were added to the GeoDirectory database in 2021 – a 17.4% decrease on 2020.

GeoDirectory was set up by An Post and Ordnance Survey Ireland to maintain a database of commercial and residential dwellings in Ireland.

The new report found that 19,495 residential buildings were under construction in the final three months of last year, which is a 16.5% increase on the same period in 2020. 

Every county recorded an increase in average residential property prices, with an average national price of €321,596 in the 12 months up to October 2021.

Dublin remains the most expensive county to buy a home with an average price of €496,652. Longford showed the lowest average house price of €142,298. 

The national residential vacancy rate was 4.4% at the end of 2021 with rates decreasing in 20 of the 26 counties examined.

The lowest residential vacancy rates were recorded in Dublin (1.4%), Kildare (2.1%) and Waterford and Louth (2.8% each).

Leitrim remains the county with the highest vacancy rate of 13.3%, but this figure was a drop of 1.3% compared to 2020. 

The number of derelict buildings in Ireland has also decreased by 7.3% between December 2016 and December last year. 

More than one-quarter (29.6%) of new addresses in 2021 were located in Dublin, and almost half were in the Greater Dublin Area. 

Construction of homes in the final quarter of 2021 was strongest in Leinster, accounting for just under 60% of residential buildings being built. 

Annette Hughes, director at EY economic advisory, said housing supply in 2021 was “well short of what was needed to meet demand”. 

“While the data around residential construction activity in the latter half of 2021 is extremely encouraging, there is still exceptionally high levels of demand in the housing market,” Hughes said. 

“Based on our analysis for this report, the 90,158 vacant residential properties and the 22,096 derelict residential properties across Ireland should be investigated to ascertain if they can be returned to the housing stock, a move which would also support our retrofitting targets.”

Under the Housing for All plan, the government intends to retrofit half a million homes over the next decade. 

The plan also aims to create 300,000 new homes by 2030. 

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