More work to be done to deliver against housing targets new data reveals
At the end of the first year of their commendable Housing for All plan, the Government claims to have exceeded their target of building 25,000 new homes by almost 20%, by delivering 29,851 units in 2022.
However, housing data published by Construction Information Services (CIS) paint a less encouraging picture, with just 23,751 new dwellings completed – 95% of target – suggesting that more work needs to be done by the Government to deliver against their targets.
Given the current housing crisis, this suggests that there is an urgent need for an accurate and dependable method for determining the true housing supply figures in Ireland. Since the turbulent years that followed the 2008 downturn, there has been much speculation around the legitimacy of the various methods used to count the number of dwellings being built. The principal data source for the official figures compiled by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) is connection data provided by ESB Networks.[i]
CIS figures are drawn directly from the National Building Control Office’s Building Control Management System (BCMS) who’s office, by legislation, records details of the commencement and completion of building works in Ireland.
Each week CIS gathers data from the BCMS, links the data to existing planning applications and records details of each new residential development, or phase thereof, started or completed. Even excluding the figures for single dwellings[ii], the discrepancy between official figures and CIS figures remains at around 6,000 units.
CIS Research Manager, Scott Delaney, commenting on the figures stated: “It’s difficult to reconcile the discrepancy. The BCMS figures we collate are painstakingly recorded by our research team from individual completion transactions published. In many cases, we manually count the numbers of units on each phase or revert to the original planning documents to see the number of units granted in apartment blocks. These figures are rigorously checked and I’m fully confident in the veracity of our data based on the BCMS register.
While the Government battles to alleviate the housing crisis, the first step is to measure the performance of the housing market accurately to provide a reliable basis for decision making, and at present, that isn’t the case.
[ii] Although the construction of single dwellings requires a commencement notice, self-builders can opt out of the certification process and, as such, are not required in such case to submit a notice of completion.
Image: “Sites” in graphic refers to scheme housing and apartment developments only (excl. single dwellings)
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