Our CIS Residential Researcher, Niall Gargan analysed and noted an upwards trend in On-Site construction activity in Q4 2016. Below are his findings.

The Residential Sector has experienced a late resurgence of activity as we approach the final weeks of 2016. As reported in November’s Q3 2016 activity report, Construction Information Services (CIS) confirmed that works have commenced on 11,550 residential units up until the end of September 2016. These figures fell largely in line with those of the same time period from 2015.

However, Q4 has witnessed a late surge in activity for the sector with an additional 2,538 units commencing in October alone. This brings the total number of units commencing On-Site to 14,088 units as we enter the month of November. Only 396 units of this October sum accounts for single one-off builds which shows that developers are once again beginning to take a chance on large phased schemes.

Building Site 1

If the housing sector was to sustain the 2,538 unit mark in a consistent manner over the coming months, then the Department of Housing’s goal of reaching 25,000 units per annum would be more than achievable. There are certain elements underlying the late surge in residential construction which will be outlined as we highlight some of the major builds during October 2016.

One of the notable factors during October 2016 is the fruition of long-term developers moving projects to On-Site with land they have been sitting on since the recession. Most prominently, Cairn Homes PLC have increased works on various sites around Dublin City.

Across three separate sites, Cairn Homes Plc accounted for 264 units commencing On-Site in October 2016. In Rathgar, at their Marienella site, they began works on the next phase of their ongoing development with two blocks of apartments comprising of 94 units. Works commenced originally on the development in May 2016 and when it is completed the overall site will be home to 275 units which will be an assortment of high-end apartments and houses.

In Dublin’s Docklands, Cairn Homes are acting as the developers for a lucrative residential development which is located on the Former Kilsaran Concrete Site at Hanover Quay. Bennett Construction are currently carrying out the construction works for them on this development which also went On-Site in October and will comprise of 122 apartment units upon completion. Finally, they have also commenced works on 48 housing units at Parkside on the Former Balgriffin Park Lands in Dublin 17. As works commenced on this development, the property developers also submitted a planning application for a further 94 housing units on the land adjacent to the one currently On-Site.

Construction Activity

On the Scholarstown Road in Rathfarnham, Dublin 16, Andrews Construction has commenced further phases of this large scale residential development. The site has full planning permission for up to 317 units and has been progressing at a consistent pace since beginning works on Phase 1 in April 2016. Meanwhile, in Saggart, Greenacre Residential Limited have commenced works on Phase 3 of their ongoing large scale development. Phase 3 will consist of 96 units and the overall site has planning permission for up to 224 units. Works originally commenced on this site in September 2015.

Elsewhere in the country, O’Flynn Construction have commenced works on a €24 million residential development with an initial phase of 21 houses at Knocknagore, Crosshaven in County Cork. The development site has permission for a total of 204 units. In Kinsale, Cfield Construction Limited commenced works on phase 1 of 11 units of a €14 million development. The overall development has planning permission for 161 units. Gannon Homes are the developers on this project.  

Social housing plays a factor in the increase of housing construction for October 2016. A notable development is the first phase of the Dolphin House Regeneration development. When the development is completed it will see the refurbishment of 72 existing units and the construction of 38 new units. The overall development, which will be carried out over four phases, is expected to cost in the range of €25 million and will be built by Purcell Construction.

Dolphin House

ABM Construction has started work on the delivery of modular home builds at two sites around County Dublin. After a turbulent pilot program in Ballymun last year, these two sites mark the beginning of the Government’s plans to expand the program around the county. At St. Helena’s Drive, ABM Construction will be building 40 modular homes and at Mourne Road and in Drimnagh they will be building 29 units. The two development sites are expected to be completed by Summer 2017.

The strong start to Q4 2016 will give the Residential Sector an air of renewed confidence as we approach the beginning of 2017. Based on the rate of construction being witnessed at the moment, a cautiously optimistic end of year figure for new residential builds can be projected to be around 16,000 new units for 2016. Under the Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan laid out by the Government over the summer, the onus by the Department of Housing to propel social housing in the next five years and long-term developers going On-Site with large phased schemes, Ireland could be on course to reach the 25,000 units per annum in 2017.