Ireland’s construction sector is bouncing back but there is still some way to go.

Construction bouncing back

Since residential building sites reopened in April, Ireland has experienced a considerable ramp-up in construction with over 2,000 residences being built in Cork alone this summer.

The figures come with the release of the fifteenth biannual GeoView Residential Buildings report on the stock of residential properties in Ireland.

The report shows that a total of 2,187 residential buildings were under construction in Cork city and county in June of this year with the average price at €279,287, below the national average of €306,641.

It also found that 2,749 new residential addresses in Cork were added to GeoDirectory’s nationwide database in the twelve months leading up to June 2021.

The number of new address points in Ireland added to the GeoDirectory database jumped by over 50 per cent in the same period when compared to the previous 12 months.

The report, which is based on GeoDirectory’s database of more than two million residential building records, also found that the property vacancy rate in Cork in June 2021 was at 4.1 per cent, lower than the national average of 4.5 per cent.

Overall, there were 92,135 vacant residential properties in Ireland in June, with 16 counties, including Cork, recording a decline in residential vacancy rates since June 2020.

Dublin, at 1.6 per cent, had lowest vacancy rate in the country despite a slight year-on-year increase of 0.3 percentage points.

Commenting on the report’s findings, Dara Keogh, CEO of GeoDirectory said the data indicates that residential construction activity has responded well since Covid-19 restrictions for the sector were lifted in April.

“There were over 5,000 more residential buildings under construction last month than there was in June 2020. Additionally, the GeoDirectory databased recorded over 25,000 new residential address points in the past twelve months,” he explained.

Mr Keogh added that, although these numbers are still short of the levels of stock needed to ease demand, the data trends suggest that things are moving in the right direction.

However, Director of EY Economic Advisory Annette Hughes said that despite a positive outlook regarding the pipeline of new builds, the level of residential property transactions is still someway short of pre-Covid levels.

“In the 12 months to May 2021, the number of transactions fell by 6.5 per cent. There are a number of reasons for this, including travel limits, restrictions around viewings and people holding off on moving or selling their house,” she said.

Types of dwelling

There were 2,052,429 residential dwellings in Ireland in June 2021, of which one in ten were apartments.

The number of apartments, which are defined as a dwelling which exists in a building of five or more dwellings, amounted to 194,898, 9.5 per cent of the country’s total residential stock.

Detached dwellings remained the most common at 30.7 per cent, followed by terraced dwellings at 27.9 per cent and semi-detached dwellings at 24.6 per cent.

Counties Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford accounted for just over half of all dwellings around the country.