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Number of residential units sent for planning dropped by 29% in first quarter of this year

The type of residential units subject to commencement has seen a “substantial shift” towards housing over apartments.

Image: Shutterstock/Roger Utting

THE NUMBER OF residential units put forward for planning in the first three months of this year dropped by 29% compared to the same period in 2020. 

That’s according to a new report from Deloitte, a professional services company, on planning for residential units. 

The type of planned residential units subject to commencement also took a “substantial shift” to housing over apartment development in the first quarter of this year compared to last year, the report said. 

Although the number of residential planning applications year-on-year remained almost the same, the number of units is down by 29%. 

Deloitte real estate advisory, John Doddy, said the reduction in units put forward for planning is “most likely a direct implication of the restrictions imposed over the first quarter of 2021″.

“This trend is amplified further down the development timeline, with granted schemes down 26% and commencement notices lodged down 44%,” Doddy said in a statement. 

“The slowdown in residential planning permissions will inevitably have an impact on housing supply at some point in the next few years, compounding the impact from the construction shutdown caused by Covid-19.”

Construction activity was largely suspended during the first quarter of this year. 

The report showed there was a “relatively strong” level of planning activity going on during this time, however. 

Doddy said: “At a minimum, there will be a delay in delivery of existing stock as site works have been curtailed and indeed, ceased entirely for a period of time.”

“Affordability remains an underlying issue. Coupled with this pent-up demand and the evident slowdown in supply, this is likely to continue for the foreseeable future.”

The level of residential planning applications granted in the first quarter of this year fell by 26% compared to the same period last year. 

In the first quarter this year, 206 apartment units and 1,492 housing units were subject to commencement. 

A commencement notice is required to inform authorities that a person intends to carry out works. It must be issued no more than 28 days and no less than 14 days before works begin. 

The level of residential commencement notices lodged in this period reduced by 44% year-on-year. 

Housing has led the agenda during Leaders’ Questions for nine days over the last two weeks and the level of pressure on the government over the issue doesn’t appear to be dissipating. 

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Last week, the government scrambled to roll out measures to clip the wings of the investment funds buying up hundreds of properties and locking regular buyers out.

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