Increase in house building largely due to one-off builds in rural areas

Increase in house building largely due to one-off builds in rural areas

House building nationally for the first half of the year is up 16% on the same period of 2014, according to new figures.

However, this is being largely driven by one-off houses outside of the main urban centres with building in parts of Dublin and the commuter belt actually slowing, despite a severe shortage of housing.

Figures show there were 5,625 houses and apartments completed so far this year.

Despite this apparent surge, construction activity is happening in the wrong areas, and the number of homes being built is still way below that needed to meet demand.

Almost half of the total homes built were one-off properties, which will do little to ease pent-up demand for family homes and are unlikely to be sold on the open market.

A year on from a Government plan to kickstart the construction sector, there has been a sharp drop in construction in two of the biggest Dublin local authorities and a key commuting county.

Just 313 homes have been built in Dublin city, down 36pc; and a mere 141 have been completed in south Dublin, a drop of 43pc. Completions have also fallen in Wicklow, by 63pc to 183.

Construction is resuming in some areas of high demand, but at worryingly low levels.

In Cork city, completions rose 21pc to 91, but a quarter were one-off homes.

In Galway city, just 46 homes were built, up 18pc. Again, a quarter were single houses.

Fingal in north Dublin bucked the trend for urban areas with 562 houses completed, with only a minority being one-offs.

The disappointing figures from the Department of the Environment come after the Housing Agency warned 21,000 units a year are needed to cater for our growing population.

House prices continue to rise nationally, and estate agents are warning new Central Bank lending rules are shutting out families hoping to upgrade.

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