Housing output in Ireland is among the lowest in Europe, according to the latest ‘Building Energy Rating (BER) Housing Tracker’ from Goodbody.
The analysis monitors homes that were completed each month. According the number of BER certificates issued, 754 homes were completed in Ireland in March, a 43pc increase year-on-year.
However the analysis does not pick up an element of self-build units. Assuming 1,500 homes are not picked up because of this factor, then annual housing output in Ireland is running at 11,500, according to the report. Per thousand of the population, this amounts to 2.4 house completions, leaving Ireland ahead of only Italy, Spain, and Portugal in terms of having the lowest levels of housing output in the EU.
The European average is estimated at 3.4 house completions per 1000.
“Given rapid population growth and a record low level of stock for sale, Ireland needs completions per capita to be well ahead of EU averages,” Dermot O’Leary, chief economist at Goodbody Stockbrokers, said.
While acknowledging that there is currently “strong momentum” in the new housebuilding sector in Ireland – with a 45pc increase year-on-year in the number of homes completed in the first three months of 2018 – more than a trebling of output is still required from here to catch up with estimated annual demand, the report finds.
Dublin accounted for the largest share of new units in the first three months of the year, with just under one in two new units completed in the capital, although the fastest growth recorded was in Dublin’s commuter counties, increasing by 80pc year-on-year.
Together, the Greater Dublin Area accounted for 72pc of the units completed in the first three months of the year.
On a per capita basis, the largest level of completions over the past 12 months occurred in Meath (5.2 per 1000), followed by Kildare (4.1 per 1,000), Dublin (3.9 per 1,000) and Wicklow (2.8 per 1,000).
Outside of the Greater Dublin Area and all counties in Ireland are well below the EU average, with 16 counties (of 26) completing between 0-1 units per thousand.