New SCSI figures shows planning permission was granted for only 13 residential schemes of 25+ units in Dublin in Q3

The latest edition of the quarterly Housing Development Monitor published by the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI) shows that planning permission was granted for just 13 residential schemes of 25+ units in the Dublin region in Q3.

The total number of units across the 13 schemes was 852 and this represents a decrease of 59% when compared to the second quarter of 2015 (2,062 units) and a decrease of 64% since the Monitor was first published in the first quarter of 2015.

The SCSI, which is the professional representative body for the property, land and construction sectors, has produced the Monitor, in conjunction with Future Analytics Consulting, to provide accurate housing supply data for the Dublin region. The geographical breakdown is as follows.

Planning Permission for schemes of 25 units + Dublin Region

  • 5 developments comprising 343 units in the Dublin City local authority area
  • 1 developments comprising 139 units in Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown local authority area
  • 4 developments comprising 199 units in the Fingal Local authority area
  • 3 developments comprising 171 units in the South Dublin local authority area

Commencements – for schemes of 25 units + Dublin Region

1,294 units were commenced in the Dublin region in Q3:

  • 414 units were commenced in in the Dublin City Council area
  • 197 units were commenced in Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council area;
  • 648 units were commenced in the Fingal County Council area;
  • 35 units were commenced in the South Dublin County Council area

Andrew Nugent, President of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland said; “The latest findings of our Housing Development Monitor, show that planning permission was granted for only 13 larger schemes, comprising 852 units,  which is worrying given the current and future demand for accommodation in the Dublin Region. The drop off in permissions and planning applications since the start of the year will place greater pressure on Dublin’s dysfunctional  housing market which is crippled by a lack of supply”.

Nugent pointed out that too many projects are subject to delays and postponments and argued that Dublin – and the country at large – needs a flexible, efficient and proactive planning system that can respond to the current housing crisis. “Dublin’s planning authorities do not have the necessary resources and this is resulting in lengthy delays. They have been decimated over the past eight years, losing valuable experience and corporate memory. So we have a  major bottleneck on our hands and this will exacerbate the supply situation in the capital” Nugent said.

The SCSI, in a recent submission to the An Bord Pleanala Review Panel, called for the implementation of policy to prioritise appeal cases involving residential development schemes in areas of high demand to deal with the acute shortage.  The submission recommended that priority should be given to residential schemes of more than 25 units so that decision could be made within a shorter timeframe than currently applies.

Nugent said that proposed changes to apartment standards due by the year end may also  be a factor in the lower number of planning applications and permissions with many developers holding off submitting applications until the revised standards are announced.

Other contributory factors include the lack of funding at commercially viable interest rates for developers to build developments and uncertainty about the capacity of people to buy completed units and drawdown mortgages. Nugent said the latter is having a knock on effect on developers delaying decision to commence projects.

The SCSI is also concerned that only 1294 units ( in 25+ schemes) were commenced in the Dublin region in Q3. “When combined with the results of the previous quarters, this bring the total figure of commencements in Dublin this year for larger schemes to 2735 units. The SCSI has forecast that the Dublin region requires 7000 units on an annual basis and it is now clear that we will fail to reach this target this year” Nugent said.

While Nugent welcomed the announcement earlier this week that up to 4,000 residential units will be built at Cherrywood, he pointed out that work on building the units was at least a year away and the entire project would take eight years in total. Irish building magazine

The SCSI has called for the speedy implementation of the recent package of measures outlined by Minster for the Environment, Alan Kelly and Minister for Finance Michael Noonan which will give effect to the targeted rebate of development contributions for housing valued at in the price bracket of under €300,000 in Dublin as well as the fast racking of SDZ schemes. Such a rebate will accelerate the delivery of starter homes in Dublin which are in great demand. According to research by the SCSI, on a typical 3 – bedroom semi-d in a larger development, development levies can cost up to €10,000 on a single unit. For single houses, and developments outside of urban areas, the costs are far greater.

The SCSI’s Q3 Housing Development Monitor is available at