The latest edition of the National Housing Construction Index compiled and issued by Link2Plans (www.link2plans.com ) shows that project commencements in Westmeath are down by a staggering 50 per cent, the largest decrease in the country. This is a sharp contrast on 2012’s figure of +43 per cent, at the time the greatest increase nationwide.
The team of researchers at www.link2plans.com have examined every housing construction planning application and project commencement from January to October 2013, in the production of the National Housing Construction Index. The index gives a direct comparison with the exact same period in 2012. Viewed on a nationwide basis, the National Housing Construction Index reveals there is a decrease in planning applications (5 per cent ) but project commencements were down even further (7 per cent ) since last year.
Westmeath reports an improvement in the number of planning applications being made, despite the continuing negative figures. For this period planning applications are down 12 per cent. Applications made in Westmeath decreased from 155 in January to October 2012, to 136 in the same period in 2013. Compared to a decrease of 24 per cent in applications last year, the rate of decline is continuing but there are signs of recovery. Counties which showed a major shift in performance since last year are: Leitrim, which went from -1 per cet in 2012 to 40 per cent in 2013; Sligo, which went from -5 per cent in 2012 to -24 per cent in 2013; and Roscommon which went from -11 per cent in 2012 to -18 per cent in 2013. Kildare had the most positive reversal in performance since last year, going from -35 per cent in 2012 to +11 per cent in 2013.
Project commencements in Westmeath show the largest decrease in the country at 50 per cent, a huge deterioration on last year’s figure of +43 per cent. Commencement increases were seen in only six counties, with Roscommon performing the best at a 52 per cent increase in the number of commencements compared to the same period for 2012. Nationally, last year commencements were down 9 per cent and with a 7 per cent decrease this year, so improvements can be seen.
According to the managing director of Link2Plans, Danny O’Shea, the index shows that there is significant fluctuation in the number of applications and commencements being made in Westmeath. This being said, the figures may improve in 2014 as the economy steadies.