Home completions in Ireland grew by 20% year on year (yoy) in the fourth quarter of 2019, according to the Goodbody Analytics BER Housebuilding Tracker.
This took the 2019 total to 21,500 units (+19% yoy), in line with the Goodbody estimate (21,600). This represents the highest total in a decade and is nearly five times greater than the 2013 trough of 4,575.
Having led the recovery since 2013, growth in Dublin was lacklustre in 2019, growing by just 2%. In contrast, the Mid-East region, commuter counties to Dublin, experienced a surge (+36% yoy) in 2019. All other regions experienced growth. Apartment construction (+55% yoy) grew rapidly in 2019, led by Dublin.
However, apartments continue to represent a very low share of output in Ireland’s residential sector. In 2019, Goodbody estimate that apartments represented 17% of completions. Using data from Euroconstruct, this represents the lowest share in Europe, well behind the average of 59% in 2019. The UK had the second lowest share in 2019 (22%).
According to Goodbody Stockbrokers, "On the back of these numbers, we are leaving our 2020 completions forecast unchanged at 24K units. There are different moving parts of the Irish housing market, with PRS, social housing and the affordable private market all performing well, while the higher end is slower. In the context of the binding macro-prudential rules, affordability and viability is key to clearing stock."