Weekly Market Insight

Latest Economic & Market Update 5th February 2021

05th February 2021

Today’s focus:

  • Housing completions in 2020 surpass 20,000 but fall below 2019 levels.
  • New proposals in bill designed to prevent local authority members from holding up housing developments.

According to figures from the CSO, there was a large increase in the number of housing projects completed in Q4 2020. Despite the pause in construction due to Covid-19 public health restrictions, the number of completed dwellings in 2020 stands at 20,676, only 1.9% below the 2019 figure of 21,087. The large increase of completions in Q4 2020 was largely due to a 45.6% increase in apartment completions in comparison to Q4 2019. Apartment completions in 2020 increased 14.5% from the prior year as 4,014 apartments were completed in 2020 while 3,507 were completed in 2019. Over three quarters of the completed apartments were based in Dublin. In comparison to 2019, the number of completed single dwellings fell 2.6% in 2020 as 4,937 single dwelling builds were completed during 2020. The number of housing scheme units declined by 6.3% to 11,725. This indicates that 56.7% of the units completed during 2020 were in housing schemes. Q4 of 2020 was the first quarter since the series began where more apartments were completed than single dwellings. Commenting on the figures, Trevor Grant, Chairperson of the Association of Irish Mortgage Advisors said that “in an already squeezed property market, where demand consistently exceeded supply, the lack of suitable properties will continue to be an issue this year”. (Source: RTE, CSO).

Under new proposals that are set to be published on Friday 5th February, councillors will not be able to block the sale of local authority land to the government agency tasked with ramping up housing supply on state owned sites. The measure being brought forward is designed to prevent local authority members from holding up housing developments. The level for the provision of affordable homes by the new agency is also to be increased from 30% to 50% under the new proposed legislation. Current public health restrictions are also expected to hit the number of homes built for a second year in a row. (Source: Irish Times).

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(as at close of markets 04/02/2021)