Number of Offaly house starts grows

Damian Moran

Reporter:

Damian Moran

The number of new houses being built in Offaly has grown in the first five months of 2013, according to new statistics released by the Construction Industry Federation (CIF).

The number of new houses being built in Offaly has grown in the first five months of 2013, according to new statistics released by the Construction Industry Federation (CIF).

According to the latest CIF Housing Statistics Bulletin, there has been a 15% increase in new house starts, with 60 units being started this year compared to 52 during the same period in 2012. This represents an increase of 8 units.

The Offaly experience was replicated in most of the major urban areas around the country with an increase in house building also taking place in Dublin, Galway and Cork. Overall the number of new unit starts around the country increased by 0.4% to 1,665 from 1,659 during the same period in 2012.

Of the new units started in Offaly, 100% were one off builds, the same level as during the 2012 period.

There was less positive news on the number of house completions with Offaly experiencing a 15% drop. A total of 46 houses had been finished in Offaly up to the end of May this year, compared to 54 last year. This marks a decrease of 8 units.

Speaking about the housing statistics, CIF Director of Housing, Hubert Fitzpatrick said, “These latest statistics for Offaly are further evidence of the trend in house building that is taking place around the country. What we are seeing is supply is falling in certain parts of the country and this is creating a strong demand for new housing stock, prompting work to begin on new housing units. We would expect to see the growth in new house starts continue in Dublin, Galway, Cork and certain other counties, particularly in some of the areas surrounding Dublin.

“What is also noticeable is that the number of housing schemes is on the increase. We have seen an increase on a national basis during the first five months of 2013 with multiple units making up 26% of the total starts, compared to 20% in 2012. This emphasises that more sustained house building is starting to take place, as opposed to recent years whereby one off housing has been the only real source of activity.

“The house completions figures are not surprising as we do expect there to be a further decline in finished units built this year from the 8,488 built in 2012. With the number of housing starts slowly picking up and the declining level of vacant stock around the country, our expectation is that 2013 will mark the low point of house completions. However future supply continues to be constrained by the shortage of development finance and the high costs of construction. Availability of mortgage finance will also play a major role in determining how the market proceeds from this point,” Mr. Fitzpatrick concluded.