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International comparison:
Eurostat Planning Permission Data
For more information on this release:
E-mail: Mary Heanue (+353) 21 453 5714 Alan Finlay (+353) 21 453 5211 Mairéad Ní Chuill (+353) 21 453 5242
For general information on CSO statistics: (+353) 21 453 5000 Visit, the portal to Ireland's official statistics On-line ISSN 2009-5279
CSO statistical release, 23 June 2017, 11am

Planning Permissions

Quarter 1 2017

Number of Dwelling Units
Houses Apartments Totals
Quarter 1 20162,5345573,091
Quarter 1 20173,7548964,650
% change48.1%60.9%50.4%

Dwelling units approved up 50.4% in year

Figure 1 Number of Dwelling Units approved classified by type of unit, Q32015 - Q12017
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In the first quarter of 2017, planning permissions were granted for 4,650 dwelling units, compared with 3,091 units for the same period in 2016, an increase of 50.4%.

The first quarter figures also show that:

  •  Planning Permissions were granted for 3,754 houses in the first quarter of 2017 and 2,534 in the first quarter of 2016, an increase of 48.1%. 
  •  Planning permissions were granted for 896 apartment units, compared with 557 units for the same period in 2016, an increase of 60.9%. 
  •  One-off houses accounted for 27.4% of all new dwelling units granted planning permission in this quarter. See Table 4.
  •  The total number of planning permissions granted for all developments was 5,959. This compares with 4,914 in the first quarter of 2016, an increase of 21.3%. See Table 1.
  •  Total floor area planned was 1,461 thousand square metres in the first quarter of 2017. Of this, 52.1% was for new dwellings, 28.8% for other new constructions and 19.1% for extensions.  The total floor area planned increased  by 14.1% in comparison with the same quarter in 2016. See Table 1.
  •  Planning Permissions for new buildings for Agriculture decreased to 281 this quarter. This compares to 429 permissions in the same quarter of 2016. See Table 3(a).
X-axis labelPlanning Permissions CivilPlanning Permissions Non-Res Planning Permissions Dwellings
Table A Summary of Planning Permissions granted for new Dwelling Units
Period All HousesAnnual % changeof which Multi-Development HousesAnnual % changeof which One-off housesAnnual % changeApartmentsAnnual % change Total Dwellings (All Houses & Apartments)Annual % change
2015Q12,51474%1,606139%90817%699342% 3,213100%
Q22,63777%1,816145%8219%473315% 3,11094%
Q32,34532%1,39545%95016%359-1% 2,70426%
Q42,75445%1,84159%91322%1,263731% 4,01795%
Year10,25055%6,65889%3,59216%2,794256% 13,04476%
2016Q12,5341%1,556-3%9788%557-20% 3,091-4%
 Q22,340-11%1,350-26%99021%80169% 3,1411%
 Q34,36286%3,233132%1,12919%1,452305% 5,814115%
 Q43,24518%2,11215%1,13324%1,084-14% 4,3298%
Year12,48122%8,25124%4,23018%3,89439% 16,37526%
2017Q13,75448%2,48159%1,27330%89661% 4,65050%
Note: Percentages are rounded for tabular purposes
Table 1 Summary of Planning Permissions granted, Q1 2009 - Q1 2017
Number of Permissions Total Floor Area (000 sq.m)
 New Construction    New Construction  
Period DwellingsOtherExtensionAlteration and ConversionTotal  DwellingsOtherExtensionTotal1
2009Q 13,2751,2312,4994817,486 2,0908704593,419
 Q 22,6891,1582,4055046,756 1,7538722812,906
 Q 32,5051,2182,4334996,655 1,2739152782,466
 Q 41,9119081,8854335,137 8124081791,399
 Year10,3804,5159,2221,91726,034 5,9283,0651,19710,190
2010Q 11,7687751,6173594,519 8443031811,328
 Q 21,5137721,9963944,675 7765532321,561
 Q 3 1,6348662,3194535,272 7274152711,412
 Q 41,4327921,7783714,373 514254186955
 Year6,3473,2057,7101,57718,839 2,8611,5258705,256
2011Q 11,2777001,6374054,019 5993762021,177
 Q 21,2647211,8663934,244 5604522091,222
 Q 3 1,2718621,8964174,446 465288216969
 Q 49556811,3123353,283 357214137708
 Year4,7672,9646,7111,55015,992 1,9821,3307654,077
2012Q 19576951,3393773,368 279283173734
 Q 29428281,5493533,672 284341199824
 Q 39071,0501,6804104,047 312346219877
 Q 48378341,3413083,320 325261177763
 Year3,6433,4075,9091,44814,407 1,1991,2317683,198
2013Q 18627851,2963323,275 394366169930
 Q 27727541,4893533,368 333331170834
 Q 39319041,6653753,875 282312229823
 Q 47519881,2453993,383 295297159751
 Year3,3163,4315,6951,45913,901 1,3051,3067273,338
2014Q 18911,0061,3965403,833 336229180744
 Q 28751,0911,5905934,149 296242174712
 Q 39621,1831,7054784,328 366379228974
 Q 48781,0191,2613463,504 368214172754
 Year3,6064,2995,9521,95715,814 1,3661,0647543,184
2015Q 11,0661,0461,4543353,901 525243206973
 Q 29911,0211,6633724,047 5273212161,065
 Q 31,1281,4921,9424475,009 4945682931,354
 Q 41,0841,5651,4134084,470 6016871801,468
 Year4,2695,1246,4721,56217,427 2,1471,8198954,861
2016Q 11,1691,6951,6803704,914 5025222561,280
 Q 21,2031,7581,8494265,236 5544602311,245
 Q 31,4031,9742,1985516,126 8456292621,736
 Q 41,3411,5171,5104554,823 6844501911,325
 Year5,1166,9447,2371,80221,099 2,5852,0629405,586
2017Q 11,5231,9061,7677635,959 7604212791,461
1 For categories where floor area is a relevant measure
Table 2 Summary of Planning Permissions granted, Q1 2017, classified by region, county and type of development
 Number of Permissions Total Floor Area (000 sq.m)
 New Construction    New Construction  
Planning Region and CountyDwellings OtherExtensionAlteration and ConversionTotal DwellingsOtherExtensionTotal1
Border, Midland and West5405234191351,617 1628768317
Border22923518360707 624533139
Cavan293033597 821425
Donegal88645111214 2110637
Leitrim61311636 1135
Louth45414818152 143522
Monaghan29432012104 924235
Sligo3244208104 85215
Midland11813910133391 35191367
Laois4832292111 112417
Longford332817886 93315
Offaly144528996 45212
Westmeath2334271498 119323
West19314913542519 652322111
Galway City1014251059 92313
Galway296866122265 2610743
Mayo6819365128 2561243
Roscommon193013567 64111
Southern and Eastern9831,3831,3486284,342 5983342111,144
Dublin1524055502961,403 15313950341
Dublin City67205222143637 926016167
Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown2775134103339 148830
Fingal397010923241 19311565
South Dublin19558527186 28401180
Mid-East22519720076698 2503524310
Kildare72506721210 12895142
Meath931007830301 832014117
Wicklow60475525187 396551
Mid-West13019213248502 425728127
Clare56714312182 1991240
Limerick 51806531227 18401270
North Tipperary234124593 58417
South-East18727019372722 604842150
Carlow1532131171 172221
Kilkenny57744411186 1514534
South Tipperary214125996 52210
Waterford29655625175 8172246
Wexford65585516194 16131038
South-West2893192731361,017 935568215
Cork City25253519104 140317
Cork221022616280678 593747143
Kerry54687637235 20181855
State1,5231,9061,7677635,959 7604212791,461
1 For categories where floor area is a relevant measure
2 Excluding cities
 - No permissions
 0 implies less than 500sq m
Table 3(a) Number of Planning Permissions granted, Q1 2017, classified by region, type of development and functional category
Functional Category
Type of Development and Planning RegionDwellingsCommercial BuildingsBuildings for AgricultureIndustrial BuildingsGovt., Health and EducationOther Buildings for Social UseCivil Eng.OtherTotal
New Construction         
Border, Midland and Western540319025481522131,063
Southern and Eastern983771914735163566612,366
South West28913571156107120608
Border, Midland and Western3272410113116--419
Southern and Eastern1,1388035235121--1,348
South West21720126144--273
Alteration and Conversion         
Border, Midland and Western565028145--135
Southern and Eastern3402018174319--628
South West77385673--136
All Developments         
Border, Midland and Western9231051024449291522131,617
Southern and Eastern2,46135823487129563566614,342
South West58371742326131071201,017
- No permissions
Table 3(b) Total Floor Area Planned (000 sq.m) in new construction and extensions, Q1 2017, classified by region and functional category
 Functional Category
Type of Development and Planning RegionDwellingsCommercial BuildingsBuildings for AgricultureIndustrial BuildingsGovt., Health and EducationOther Buildings for Social UseTotal1
New Construction
Border, Midland and Western16216521144249
Southern and Eastern59811911333609932
South West931030951148
Border, Midland and Western 2573189568
Southern and Eastern68331369264211
South West13114373168
Total New Construction and Extension       
Border, Midland and Western187235530129317
Southern and Eastern66615212610286121,144
South West10621344572215
1 For categories where floor area is a relevant measure
 - No Permission
0 implies less than 500sq m
Table 4 Summary of Planning Permissions Granted for new houses and apartments, Q1 2009- Q1 2017
 All Housesof which Multi-Development Housesof which One-Off HousesApartments
 Number of PermissionsNumber of UnitsFloor Area (000 m2)Average Floor Area per Unit (m2)Number of PermissionsNumber of UnitsFloor Area (000 m2)Average Floor Area per Unit (m2)Number of PermissionsNumber of UnitsFloor Area (000 m2)Average Floor Area per Unit (m2)Number of PermissionsNumber of UnitsFloor Area (000 m2)Average Floor Area per Unit (m2)
2009Q 13,02510,2561,687164.52827,513995132.42,7432,743692252.42373,92138297.4
Q 22,4757,7391,273164.52375,501707128.52,2382,238566252.92025,09246791.7
Q 32,3045,362963179.61963,254434133.32,1082,108529251.11953,22230694.9
Q 41,7633,457669193.41391,833252137.71,6241,624416256.31371,50713187
2010Q 11,6643,585667186.21122,033280137.51,5521,552388249.9921,92516384.5
 Q 21,3953,043548180.0951,743219125.41,3001,300329253.21152,33522897.6
 Q 31,5372,817552196.0941,374192139.41,4431,443361249.9891,82416791.6
 Q 41,3622,159441204.475872122139.71,2871,287319248.2657907190.4
2011Q 11,2053,075528171.7781,948246126.21,1271,127282250.36759265109.2
 Q 21,1972,599487187.3711,473204138.81,1261,126282250.7637117098.9
 Q 3 1,2071,887389206.483763111145.91,1241,124278247.55662573117.5
 Q 49071,537302196.34167186128.6866866210249.0436195487.9
2012Q 19021,263268212.43439553134.7868868215247.84992780.8
 Q 28751,166257220.04533648143.2830830208251.26224024101.8
 Q 38571,540302196.156739107145.4801801194242.84798885.1
 Q 47881,420283199.43766996143.2751751187249.5464314092.5
2013Q 18181,860345185.7451,087155142.6773773190246.24044846102.1
 Q 27271,496280187.143812109134.5684684171249.64043050116.9
 Q 38641,252266212.64543363146.6819819203247.5641571276.6
 Q 46941,394270193.654754109144.1640640161252.0531621593.6
2014Q 18351,446296204.661672106157.3774774190245.7491581596.9
 Q 28091,492283190.05774099133.2752752185245.9631141084.9
 Q 38871,783330185.266962134138.9821821197239.6653613186.9
 Q 48041,905352184.5551,156166143.2749749186248.3691521385.3
2015Q 19772,514454180.6691,606232144.3908908222244.8826996897.2
 Q 29132,637475180.0921,816277152.5821821198241.0734734799.7
 Q 31,0362,345419178.6861,395189135.2950950230242.4853593289.2
 Q 49952,754481174.7821,841259140.5913913222243.5861,26311994.2
2016Q 11,0722,534445175.7941,556209134.2978978236241.8905575090.1
 Q 21,0902,340422180.31001,350188139.0990990234236.61078017188.0
 Q 31,2734,362703161.11443,233434134.21,1291,129269238.41261,45212687.0
 Q 41,2343,245559172.41012,112281133.31,1331,133278245.41021,08410496.4
 Year 4,66912,4812,129170.64398,2511,112134.74,2304,2301,018240.64253,89435290.3
2017Q 11,3873,754650173.11142,481341137.61,2731,273308242.11268968393.1

Background Notes

Scope and Background

Details of the scope and background of this series were given in the March 1973 Statistical Bulletin. The Planning and Development Acts 1963 - 2000, imposes certain requirements on builders, developers and all other persons who propose to build or develop and specifies that a planning permission must be obtained from the relevant Planning Authority.

Local authority building (including housing) is exempt in the case where construction takes place in the Authorities’ own area. Therefore, works undertaken by a local authority outside its functional area come within the scope of the Acts, and need planning permission. Planning permission is also needed for development by the State, except where the consultation procedures provided for in the Local Government (Planning and Development) Act, 1993 obtain (e.g. national security, public safety or order, the administration of justice etc). This series only provides coverage where development is subject to the requirement to obtain planning permission.

This series is also available using the interactive tables in StatBank on the CSO website. 


The Local Government Act 1991 (Regional Authorities) (Establishment) Order, 1993, which came into operation on 1 January 1994, established eight new Regions. The CSO has adopted these in place of the old Planning Regions as the basis for the regional breakdown of planning permissions data. 


Planning permissions are classified by type of development, local authority district and by regional authority.  A distinction is made between residential and non-residential building and civil engineering. 


Only final grants of permission or approvals are covered, i.e. only works which involve construction.  The following permissions are excluded since they do not entail construction per se:

  • Changes of a technical and business nature as distinct from a building or structural nature;
  • Outline permission;
  • Retention of an existing building;
  • Changes to existing plan;
  • Bye-law permission;
  • Refusals - permissions subsequently granted on appeal by An Bord Pleanála are included.  


As the figures for floor area have been rounded there may be slight discrepancies between the sum of the constituent items and the totals shown. Estimates are included where complete details of floor area size are not available.  

NUTS2 and NUTS3 regions

The regional classifications in this release are based on the NUTS (Nomenclature of Territorial Units) classification used by Eurostat.  The NUTS3 regions correspond to the eight Regional Authorities established under the Local Government Act, 1991 (Regional Authorities) (Establishment) Order, 1993, which came into operation on 1 January 1994.  The NUTS2 regions, which were proposed by Government and agreed by Eurostat in 1999, are groupings of the NUTS3 regions.  The composition of the regions is set out below.

Border Midlands and Western

NUTS 2 Region


Eastern and Southern

NUTS 2 Region

Border Cavan


Dublin Dublin
  Donegal     Dun Laoghaire - Rathdown   
  Leitrim     Fingal
  Louth     South Dubin
Midland Laois   Mid-East Kildare
  Longford     Meath
  Offaly     Wicklow
West Galway City   South-West Cork City
  Galway County     Cork County
  Mayo     Kerry
      South-East Carlow
        South Tipperary
      Mid -West Clare
        North Tipperary

Historical Context for the Planning Permissions Series

The following was noted in the March 1973 Statistical Bulletin.

“Inaugurating this series, it was hoped primarily that it would prove in time to be a valid measure of the work about to flow into the building sector of the economy, and that it could, in fact, be related either directly or indirectly to a measure of subsequent activity in this sector. A detailed analysis of the data presently available suggests that this is not the case. No significant correlation can be found between for example the number of dwelling units planned in any period (monthly or quarterly) and any subsequent rate of completions of dwellings.  This is perhaps not too surprising when individual permissions  can relate to large numbers of individual units (up to 600 or so).  Clearly it could take up to two years or more for an “Estate” of this size to be completed. Therefore the analysis was repeated excluding the subset of permissions involving large numbers of units but the results were still not correlated significantly. This can arise from causes such as the fact that a person obtaining planning permission may not intend acting upon this permission for a considerable time, if at all. However the time scale of available planning data is still relatively short for this type of analysis, and it cannot be finally said yet that the planning permission does not correlate in any measurable way with subsequent building activity.”

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