People are opting to extend their homes rather than move house, new data from the first National Housing Construction Index has shown.
The figures from link2plans.com, a website that tracks every planning application in the country, were released last night.
It analyses planning applications, a measure of sentiment and potential future activity and commencement notices, a real time barometer of actual housing construction activity.
The figures show that for the first two months of the year planning applications have plummeted by 23%, from 2,245 to 1,718, and commencement notices are down 14%, from 806 to 691, on last year.
The index shows:
- Kilkenny experienced the largest fall in planning applications, down 58%, with Kildare, Mayo and Clare all down 43%;
- Counties Longford, Sligo and Leitrim showed slight increases;
- Monaghan experienced the largest fall in commencement notices where figures are down 73%, followed by Tipperary, down 48%, and Limerick, down 47%;
- Counties Cavan, Longford, Meath and Waterford showed the largest increases in commencement notices, with Dublin and Cork showing increases.
“For the first time, house extensions now make up the majority of projects commencing, which is very probably a reflection on the housing market where people are staying in their homes and modifying them, rather than seeking to move to a bigger house,” Link2Plans managing director Danny O’Shea said.
“The fact that housing extensions for the first time now make up the majority of planning applications and commencement notices is reflective of the collapse of multi-unit residential developments.”
He said the national variations in housing construction activity are significant.