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Construction and Housing in Ireland – 2008 Edition


The CSO today published a new report on Construction and Housing in Ireland. The report aims to present a comprehensive picture of the Irish construction industry, primarily from 2002 – 2008, using statistics compiled by the Central Statistics Office, other producers of construction statistics and administrative data sources.

Some of the key issues covered in this report include Construction Output, Employment in the Construction Sector, Public Capital Expenditure, House Completions, House Prices, Stamp Duty, Mortgages and Planning Permissions.

Key points from the report include:

  • Gross value added from building and construction was €16.7 billion in 2007, accounting for 9% of GDP and 10% of GNP.
  • Gross value added from this sector increased by only 0.1% in 2007 while GDP and GNP rose by 6% and 4% respectively (at constant prices).
  • Output from the construction sector was €38.5 billion in 2007. This is estimated to drop by 23% in 2008 to €29.7 billion (based on figures from DKM/DEHLG).
  • The residential sector accounted for nearly 60% of construction output in 2007. The output from this sector declined by 6% in 2007 and is estimated to decrease by a further 38% in 2008.
  • Employment in construction fell by 10% from nearly 282,000 in the second quarter of 2007 to 255,000 in the same period of 2008. All of this decrease can be attributed to a decline in employee numbers rather than the self-employed.
  • The total investment in the Public Capital Programme was over €11.8 billion in 2007 (up from €8.6 billion in 2002). Almost €4 billion of this was spent in the transport sector in 2007 with over three-quarters of this expenditure (€3 billion) relating to the construction and improvement of roads.
  • Almost €2.2 billion (18%) of the Public Capital Programme was spent on housing in 2007, an increase of 35% since 2002.
  • The number of houses completed in 2007 decreased by 12% to 78,000.
  • Figures for the first two quarters of 2008 show a significant slowdown with only 70% of the number of completions when compared to the same period in 2007.
  • The average price of new or secondhand houses (including apartments) in the second quarter of 2008 was €313,700, down 5.5% on the average price reported in the same quarter in 2007.
  • Revenues from stamp duty on property transactions peaked in 2006 with receipts of almost €3 billion but revenues from this source fell by over 20% in 2007.
  • Stamp duty on property transactions amounted to almost €2.4 billion in 2007 and this accounted for almost three-quarters of the total revenue raised from stamp duty.
  • The total value of mortgage debt increased by nearly 200% from €47.2 billion in 2002 to over €139.8 billion at the end of 2007.
  • In 2007, the average size of a new mortgage was €266,000 which was nearly double the 2002 figure.
  • There were 6,000 (13%) fewer permissions granted in respect of dwelling units in the first two quarters of 2008 compared to the same period in 2007.


Editor’s note

Construction and Housing in Ireland is available on the CSO web site ( (PDF 3.5MB) (PDF 3,514KB) )


For copies of the publication contact:

The Central Statistics Office, Information Section, Skehard Road, Cork


Government Publications Sales Office, Sun Alliance House, Molesworth Street, Dublin 2

Price: €10


For further information:

Carol Anne Hennessy at (021) 453 5161 or James Barrett (021) 453 5350


Central Statistics Office

28 November 2008

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