The latest edition of the National Housing Construction Index has shown that planning commencements continue to rise in Westmeath, while planning applications are falling.
The team of researchers at www.link2plans.com have examined every housing construction planning application and planning commencement from January through to December 2012, in the production of the National Housing Construction Index. The index gives a direct comparison with the exact same period in 2011.
The index shows that from January to December there was a 39 per cent increase in commencement notices in Westmeath. This is the largest increase in planning in commencements in the Construction Index. Planning applications, however, have fallen from 265 to 196, a significant fall of 26 per cent. This was one of the largest drops in applications after Kildare, Kerry, Clare, and Wexford.
According to managing director of Link2Plans, Danny O’Shea, “This volume of the National Construction Index shows that there has been a slow down in the rate of decline in planning applications and commencements. This is a trend that we saw in previous volumes of our Index. Looking back at the whole of 2012, the numbers show that while commencements are down 8 per cent, six counties all saw an increase with Westmeath, Mayo, Sligo, Cork, Wicklow, and Kilkenny all seeing commencements up on 2011.
“If these trends continue into 2013, we could expect to see numbers potentially rising in the first half of this year which is potentially very positive news for the sector as a whole.”
Nationally planning applications are down 17 per cent and commencement notices are down 8 per cent. This gives an interesting context for the performance of Westmeath over the last number of months.