Housing planning approvals drop 15% due to pandemic disruption

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The number of residential properties granted building permits in the first half of this year fell by more than 15% year-on-year, according to new figures from the CSO.

A total of 18,113 approved dwellings in the first six months of 2021. Of these, 11,138 were apartments and 6,975 were houses.

The total represents a decrease of 15.4% compared to the first half of 2020, the CSO said. The first half of this year saw a tighter and more comprehensive economic lockdown of the country due to the pandemic.

Single-family homes accounted for 19% of all new housing units granted planning permission in the first half of this year, according to CSO figures.

The number of approved apartment units decreased by 15.9% in the first half of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020. There was a 14.5% decrease in approved homes in the first two quarters of 2021, the CSO said.

Apartments represented between 55% and 66% of total housing authorizations in the first half of the year.

The third quarter of 2019 was the first time that more apartments than houses were granted planning permission; a trend that has continued ever since.

Meanwhile, the CSO said a total of 8,529 building permits have been granted for all developments during the current quarter.

Of these, just over 53% were for new builds, 29% for extensions and just under 18% for modifications and conversions.

There were 3,886 housing units granted building permits in the current quarter, the CSO said. Of that 10% – or 388 approvals – were in Co Cork.

Earlier this week, Michael Stanley – the managing director of Cairn Homes, the nation’s largest home builder – said reaching a point where 30,000 new homes are built each year is “very achievable” in the short term.

However, he said the government’s plan for housing for all – which calls for the construction of 300,000 new homes by the end of 2030 – will only succeed with improving the central bank’s mortgage rules. .

“For the government’s plan to have the best chance of success, it is essential that it is complemented by central bank rules on mortgage lending that are more suited to today’s critical needs,” he said. -he declares.

“A framework that remains cautious but gives thousands of potential clients who earn good salaries a greater opportunity to qualify for a mortgage is urgently needed,” he said.



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