The national housing market is complex; it is composed of numerous sub-markets, specific to geographies, tenure types and housing unit characteristics, and involves a range of specific dynamics, particularly the well documented lags between increased demand and the supply response and the links to land, funding availability and construction industry capacity.
Given the complexity associated with all of these factors, the Government’s Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan focuses on tangible supply outcomes, particularly on accelerating the increased delivery of new homes in the right locations, over the short, medium and long terms.
The Government is working hard to deliver these objectives. More new homes were built in 2018 than in any other year this decade. Indeed in the year to Q1 2019, the Central Statistics Office reports that there were 18,828 new dwelling completions in Ireland, an increase of 25% compared to the previous 12 months. Taking account of new homes completed in Unfinished Housing Developments and vacant homes brought back into use, a total of 22,242 new homes completed available for use in the year to March 2019, 19% up on the previous year. These data, together with other forward looking indicators, such as planning permissions and commencement notices, provide confidence that this increasing trend will continue and for the target of delivering 25,000 new homes annually by 2020 to be achieved. This shows that Rebuilding Ireland's supply-focused actions, such as streamlined and updated planning arrangements, investments in infrastructure and new apartment development and heights guidelines, are delivering results.
Notwithstanding the significant progress made, the Government recognises the need to sustain and build on what has been achieved. The National Planning Framework states that between 2018 and 2040, an annual average output of at least 25,000 new homes will need to be provided. To meet projected population and economic growth as well as increased household formation, annual housing output will need to increase to 30,000 to 35,000 homes per annum in the years to 2027. The Government's focus will remain firmly on securing these further increases in supply.