Housing construction in Galway has fallen by 56 per cent in the first four months of 2015 when compared to the same period in 2014, while planning applications have risen by 23 per cent year on year.
Nationally, commencements were down 51 per cent in the first two months of 2015 with every county recording a decrease, while applications are up 18 per cent.
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.
According to Danny O’Shea, managing director of Link2Plans: “Nationally, commencements were down 51 per cent when compared to the first four months of 2014, with every county recording a fall. This continues the trend from the beginning of 2015, with commencements falling dramatically. Project applications, however, maintained strong double digit growth in 23 counties when compared to the first four months of 2014.
"Link2Plans considers the first half of 2014 to be very much an outlier in terms of construction activity on account of the structural changes in the market, which saw the introduction of new buildings regulations on March 1, 2014. These one off changes in the sector created a major injection in construction activity for that period.
"When compared to previous years, we do see growth in the construction sector, with the first four months of 2015 showing an increase of 11 per cent when compared to the same period in 2013. When these figures are combined with the strong growth in planning applications, which have recorded increases for the past 18 months, the forecast for medium term remains positive.”
O’Shea added that the number of planning applications in the first four months of 2015 increased by 713, from 3,889 to 4,602, representing an increase of 18 per cent nationally year on year. "This is evidence of the positive sentiment in the residential construction sector, with nearly every county in the country seeing an increase in the number of planning applications when compared to the same period in 2014.”
Speaking about the length of time it takes for one off houses to get from planning application to work starting on site, O’Shea said: “Research from Link2Plans shows that in Galway for the first four months of 2015, the average period of time it took for one off houses to get from the planning application stage to commencement of work on site was 61 weeks, which is a long lead in time.”