The CSO Quarter 1 2019 new dwellings completion report confirms a strong upward trend across all housing construction activity data sets.
“While it is important to continue our efforts to ensure that this trend is maintained and even further improved, it is encouraging to see today’s results,” says Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy.
“In order to properly address homelessness” he continues, “affordability and the challenges in housing, we need to fix supply. These numbers show that this is happening.
“The numbers of new homes becoming available for use in the twelve months to end March 2019 was 22,242. This is a 19/5 increase when compared to the twelve months ending March 2018 (18,766) which is a very positive endorsement of all the work that is being done to ensure that our housing supply is increasing.
“Of those new homes available for use, the number of brand new dwelling completions added to the housing stock in the year to end March 2019 was 18,828 up by 25% compared to the year to end March 2018 (15,091).
“792 unfinished homes were completed and 2,622 home that were vacant for at least 2 years were brought back into use in the twelve months to ending March 2019. Increasing new builds, tackling unfinished estates and bringing vacant homes back into use are all targeted priorities in Rebuilding Ireland so it is very positive to see that we are continuing to make significant progress in these areas.
“These very positive trends are further supported by other indicators, such as Planning Permissions which show an increase of 41% on the full year 2017, whilst Commencement Notices increased by 32% and Registrations by 19% in the year to the end of March 2019. The message from the CSO report is clear. The on-going efforts by my Department, relevant agencies, local authorities, Approved Housing Bodies, and other stakeholders to deliver on the goals of Rebuilding Ireland is bearing fruit, but we cannot become complacent and we must continue to work together to tackle the issue of housing supply.”
Continuing the reaction to CSO analysis, Aaron Willis, General Manager of Property Developers GPD & Joey Sheahan, Head of Credit with MyMortgages.ie have responded the latest instalment of the CSO House Price index.
“The battle between the ‘wall of cash’ from investment funds looking to develop Irish property and the will of small indigenous investors” says Aaron Willis, General Managers of Property Developers GPD. “The cost of land is still too expensive in many instances, making the viability of developments borderline at best – or indeed – simply unachievable. We need to do more to bring down the cost of land and to tackle the battle between the ‘wall of cash’ from investment funds looking forward to develop Irish property and the will of small indigenous investors to purchase land for schemes. The industry’s labour force issues have to be tackled – namely rising wage costs and trade workforce shortages.
“House price growth is slowing but that is of little comfort to would-be homeowners who are, as it is, struggling to cobble enough money together for a deposit and/or find a suitable property that meets their needs and their budget.
“More houses of course would satiate demand, which means the market would become less competitive and more affordable. But we have to make the moves now, to allow these developments to happen.”
“Time for those afflicted by negative equity to shake off that label & make savings on their mortgages” says Joey Sheahan, Head of Credit at MyMortgaes.ie. “If we look, not just at the monthly or even annual changes in house prices, we see that there has been, on average, an 81.6% increase in house prices across the board since they hit rock bottom in 2013.
“Many mortgage holders who were plunged into the negative equity bracket when the bottom fell out of the Irish property market are now emerging from this negative equity affliction, and are in a good position to renegotiate the terms of their mortgage, either with their existing lender or with another provider. However, what we have found is that many mortgage holders are not aware of this, having become so accustomed to the negative equity categorisation, and so are paying over the odds on their mortgages. Now is definitely the time for these mortgage holders to come forward and make the savings they are entitled to.”