There was a sharp fall in activity in the Irish residential construction sector when comparing 2015 to 2014 but sentiment continues to remain positive according to figures from the National Housing Construction Index for the first four months of 2015.
The latest edition of the National Housing Construction Index from Link2Plans reveals that commencements have fallen by -51% in the first four months of 2015 when compared to the same period in 2014, while planning applications have risen by +18% nationally year on year.
The number of residential project commencements fell by 1744 from 3472 to 1698 when compared with the same period in 2014, with the smallest year on year decreases taking place in Waterford (-13%), Dublin (-22%), Cavan (-34%), Carlow (-36%) and Wicklow (-37%)
Managing Director of Link2Plans, Danny O’Shea said, "Nationally, commencements were down -51% when compared to the first four months of 2014, with every county recording a fall. This continues the trend from the beginning of 2015 with commencements falling dramatically.
Project applications however maintained strong double digit growth in 23 counties when compared to the first four months of 2014.
Link2Plans considers the first half of 2014 to be very much an outlier in terms of construction activity on account of the structural changes in the market, which saw the introduction of new buildings regulations on 1st March 2014. These one off changes in the sector created a major injection in construction activity for that period.
When compared to previous years’ such as 2013, we do see growth in the construction sector, with the first four months of 2015 showing an increase of +11% when compared to the same period in 2013.
When these figures are combined with the strong growth in planning applications, which have recorded increases for the past 18 months, the forecast for medium term remains positive."