Recovery in sight for housebuilding even with decrease in 2013

2013 saw yet another decline in the rate of new home construction but there were signs of recovery, according to the latest edition of the National Housing Construction Index compiled and issued by Link2Plans.

It outlined the continued decline in housing construction activity across the country but it did indicate a slowdown in the rate of decline nationally from the same period of 2012, where every project has been examined over the first 10 months of 2013 to give a direct comparison with the same period of 2012.

The major findings in the research by Link2Plans were that nationally there was a fall in both planning applications (-5pc) and project commencements (-7pc). However these figures were up on the same period for 2012, when applications and commencements were down -18pc and -9pc respectively.

According to Danny O’Shea, Managing Director of Link2Plans; “When we look at the National Housing Construction Index for the same period in 2012, we can see improvements being made and although there was a continued rate of decline in 2013, the signs of recovery are clear to see.”

Nationally the downward trend from 2012 continued for 2013, however six counties managed to buck this trend by registering increases in the number of planning applications. Kildare (+11pc), Dublin (+7pc), Wicklow (+7pc), Carlow (+6pc), Kilkenny (+3pc) and Monaghan (+1pc) recorded increases – a significant improvement on 2012 where only one county (Donegal) registered an increase. The largest fall in applications for 2013 was registered in Leitrim (-40pc). Other significant decreases were seen Offaly (-26pc), Sligo (-24pc), Meath (-20pc), Roscommon (-18pc) and Limerick (-18pc).

Overall there were signs of positive sentiment for the sector when compared with the same period for 2012.

Dublin bucks national trend with project commencements up 11pc.

The figures nationally for commencement notices, which are a real time barometer of construction activity, continued to show an overall decrease. The national rate showed a decline of -7pc, however, much like planning applications for 2013, this was an improvement on earlier indices.

Dublin registered an increase of +11pc, an improvement on 2012 where commencements were down -3pc in the capitol. Other counties which registered improvements include Roscommon (+52pc), Wexford (+13pc) and Monaghan (+12pc).

The largest percentage decreases were found in Westmeath (-50pc), Limerick (-32pc) and Waterford (-28pc). In contrast, for the same period of 2012, Westmeath registered the highest increase in commencements at +43pc.