CSO - New dwelling completions


Builders priced in future increases when they bought the land, applied for planning and started building.

With prices seeing no change in prices 2019 v 2018 they were caught on the hop

There is profit to be made in construction, especially if the banks didn’t work off excessive margins, but overpaying for development land is the first phase of a property bubble.

It’s taken just 10 years for the lessons of the crash to be the forgotten (and not just in Cork, alas).


Let’s put the headline numbers into perspective: at the current ‘improved’ construction supply levels (using annualised 2019 figure), it will take us between 6.3 and 7.7 years to erase the already accumulated gap in demand.

If output of new dwellings continues to grow at 11.8% per annum indefinitely, Irish construction sector will be able to close the cumulative gap between supply and demand by around 2029 in case of the targeted output at 25K units per annum, or worse, by 2031 for the output target of 30K units per annum.


I’m sceptical of the underlying concept that the failure of our construction sector after the crash creates an accumulating overhang of demand for housing which should be met by future construction. In reality, people find solutions, however suboptimal and temporary, for their housing needs.

Nobody is building housing to solve problems of the past. We could increase future demand for housing by extending cheap credit or (God forbid!) by reducing the cost of housing but we would need a time machine to satisfy the unmet demand from the crash.

Can anyone reconcile the text (which projects some 18000 units constructed in 2019) and the chart which seems to show clearly > 20k. for 2019 ?


I agree. We had a lot of emigration in that period so the pent up demand in the intervening years surely was lower


So I had a look at CSO completion figures (using the new methods) vs the ones Dept of Housing used to publish (which used ESB connections, which we know now were overstated)



The differences are stark

CSO Dept
Period Total Total diff diff %
2011 6,994 10,480 3,486 49.8%
2012 4,911 8,488 3,577 72.8%
2013 4,575 8,301 3,726 81.4%
2014 5,518 11,016 5,498 99.6%
2015 7,219 12,666 5,447 75.5%
2016 9,896 14,932 5,036 50.9%
2017 14,373 19,271 4,898 34.1%

The Dept discontinued in 2018 as CSO method seen as better. But it just shows that an historical series on housing completions before 2011 must surely be taken with a degree of scepticism