Mixed fortunes for residential construction sector in Mayo

The National Housing Construction Index compiled and issued by Link2Plans has revealed mixed fortunes for Mayo in the residential construction sector.

Project commencements in Mayo rose by 95 per cent year on year, while the number of new planning applications lodged in the first six months fell by four per cent when compared to the same period in 2013.

Twenty five out of the 26 counties saw an increase in project commencements with Mayo recording an increase of 95 per cent, which was well above the national average. Nationally, project commencements for the first six months of 2014 were up 66 per cent when compared to the same period in 2013.

The huge increase in project commencements however, is tempered by the fact that there has been a massive drop in the rate of growth in the last few months. Project commencements for the first six months of 2014 have halved when compared to the figures published for January to April of 2014, when project commencements were up year on year at plus 132 per cent.

A rush to get residential construction projects started before new building regulations came into force on March 1 2014 was the main factor behind the remarkable increases in project commencements in the first few months of 2014.

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: “The year on year increases for planning applications and project commencements bodes well for the construction sector in the short to medium term. The 66 per cent increase year on year increase in project commencements is incredibly positive, notwithstanding the slowdown in the rate of growth in project commencements since the start of the year. Also, the increase in project commencements has been felt right across the whole country, with 25 of the 26 counties recording a rise in project commencements.”

Nationally, sentiment in the construction sector remained strong in the first six months of the year, as planning applications retained the significant gains experienced in the beginning of the year. When viewed on a nationwide basis, the number of planning applications lodged in the first half of the year was up +19 per cent when compared to the same period in 2013.

The only downside to the overall positive news for the sector was that planning applications were down in 12 counties, including Mayo. Applications in Mayo fell from 158 in January to June 2013 to 152 for the same period in 2014, which represented a fall of four per cent.

Link2Plans has 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.

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