The number of residential completions for 2019 will not be known until early 2020. However, trends indicate the continued expansion of supply. For example, in the year to end September 2019, the number of new homes becoming available for use increased further to 23,554, a 15% increase on the same period last year. In the year to the end of September 2019, the number of new homes in respect of which commencement notices were served reached just over 26,000, a 27.5% year on year increase. Furthermore, the rolling annual total of planning permissions for residential dwellings has exceeded 30,000 units for the first time since early 2010, up more than 21% year on year. There has been particularly strong growth in apartment planning permissions, which is very welcome given the policy thrust toward more compact urban growth.
The Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan has been in operation since 1 February 2018. The scheme allows low-income first time buyers aged between 18 and 70, who cannot secure a mortgage from a commercial lender, to access sustainable mortgage finance that is designed to enable them to purchase a new or second-hand property, or undertake a self-build, within a suitable price range. The Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan scheme is not limited to new builds, and the €563m allocated to the scheme for 2018 and 2019 can be used for both new and second hand homes, as well as self build, as determined by the applicants' preferences.