2014 saw Galway record an increase in planning applications of 3% and commencements of 45%, while nationally, the residential construction sector in Ireland experienced mixed fortunes as the rate of growth fell sharply in the last quarter of the year according to the latest edition of the National Housing Construction Index.
While both planning applications (+12% ) and project commencements (+30% ) recorded annual increases in 2014 nationally when compared to the previous 12 months in 2013, there has been a dramatic slowdown in the market from the beginning of the year.
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, with the latest edition of the National Housing Construction Index tracking every project from January through to December 2014, and comparing it with the same period in 2013.
According to Danny O’Shea Managing Director of Link2Plans, “Overall, a combination of a pent up demand and an increased confidence in the sector saw the residential construction sector in Ireland continue the recovery which began in the middle of 2013, with significant increases for the year in both planning applications (+12% ) and project commencements (+30% ) when compared to the same period in 2013.”
Incredible gains not sustainable
“As noted by Link2Plans at the time, the incredible gains from the beginning of 2014, which saw increases in project commencements of +132% and planning applications of +19% in the first quarter, were unlikely to be sustained for the entire year. The introduction of new building regulations on 1st March 2014, had a significant impact on the market and resulted in a huge increase in the number of project commencements being lodged before the new regime came into force” continued Danny O’Shea Managing Director of Link2Plans.
Galway recorded an increase in commencements of +45%, while nationally commencements for the entire year of 2014 fell by over a half from the middle of the year, with the number of project commencements falling from +66% to +30% when compared with the same period in 2013. The largest year on year gains across the country for project commencements took place in Westmeath (+67% ), Cork (+66% ), Donegal (+50% ) and Mayo (+45% ) with Dublin recording an increase of +30%.
Mr O Shea added that “overall the number of project commencements rose by 1,498 from 5,026 to 6,524 when compared with the same period in 2013, with only Longford (-33% ), Leitrim (-25% ), Roscommon (-2% ) and Kilkenny (-2% ) recording a fall in commencements for the year.”
2014 saw Galway record an increase in planning applications of +3% while Wicklow was the best performing county with a year on year gain of +35%, with Dublin (+30% ), Meath (+30% ), Cavan (+19% ) and Westmeath (+18% ) also returning significant gains.
The National Housing Construction Index is produced by a team of researchers at Link2Plans and it relates to all Planning Applications and Project Commencements throughout the months of January to December 2014 and gives a direct comparison with the same period in 2011, 2012 and 2013.
Link2Plans have produced this index bi-monthly and it has been the most accurate barometer of real time sentiment (planning applications ) and actual residential construction activity (project commencements ) including residential developments (multi units ), one-off housing (self-build ) and one-off housing extensions.