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Other Relevant Housing Data

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Planning Pemissions

Prior to the commencement of construction, a planning permission must be obtained from a Local Authority that specifies the extent of the development (i.e. single dwelling or a multiple housing scheme). The CSO publishes data every quarter on the number of planning permissions granted, based on data received from each Local Authority and An Bord Pleanála.

Planning permissions up 26.9% in 2017

Planning permissions were granted for 20,776 dwelling units in 2017 compared with 16,375 in 2016, an increase of 26.9%. The trend over the period is line with the New Dwelling Completions series as shown in Figure 6.1. Each planning permission gets a unique planning ID covering all the dwellings in that permission which can ideally be linked to further stages of the development. However, as unique identifiers are not consistent across local authorities this has made it difficult to reuse them in subsequent stages of the building process. As all developments except local authority building where construction takes place in the authorities' own area is included in the series, planning permissions granted are a good indicator of future projects and of confidence in the housing sector. However as all planning permissions have a long life-time prior to expiry (which can be extended) and in any event the permission may never be executed, they can exhibit over-coverage and cannot be directly used as an indicator of building activity. 

X-axis labelNew dwelling completionsPlanning Permissions - Units
Q1 201118753667
Q2 201117913310
Q3 201116872512
Q4 201116412156
Q1 201211311355
Q2 201211171406
Q3 201212051638
Q4 201214581851
Q1 20138892308
Q2 201311461926
Q3 201310331409
Q4 201315071556
Q1 201410941604
Q2 201413181606
Q3 201414042144
Q4 201417022057
Q1 201513713213
Q2 201515703110
Q3 201520332704
Q4 201522454017
Q1 201619683091
Q2 201623953141
Q3 201625115814
Q4 201630414329
Q1 201727794650
Q2 201732984453
Q3 201737854739
Q4 201745846934


Once construction has commenced on a dwelling, it will be recorded as ‘Under Construction’ in Geodirectory,1 the source for Eircode which contains a vast database that combines data acquired from An Post and Ordnance Survey Ireland. Once construction is completed and mail is being delivered to a dwelling, its status changes and becomes a regular entry into the Geodirectory. A shortcoming of the Geodirectory is its time lag where the database is only updated on a quarterly basis in response to annual interviews with postmen delivering mail within assigned areas which can lead to inconsistent numbers of new residential addresses being added to the database as illustrated in Figure 6.2. In 2017, this has increased by 169% compared to the previous year. New residential addresses are high in previous years also as the Geodirectory will include some houses under construction as well as a number of the UFHDs and reconnections.

X-axis labelNew dwelling completionsGeodirectory new residential additions



All transfers of ownership of residential properties in the State must be referred to the Revenue Commissioners for stamp duty assessment under the Stamp Duties Consolidation Act (SDCA) 1999.  The data includes a flag indicating if the dwelling is a new or second-hand property. The volume of stamp duty paid on new dwellings increased by 24% in 2017 over 2016. Figure 6.3 illustrates that the trend in new dwelling transactions is comparable to the New Dwelling Completions series. However, the new CSO series on New Dwelling Completions cannot be compared directly to the data on stamp duty as the Revenue data does not include self-builds where no transfers of ownership take place. Furthermore, a new build according to Revenue is one that has never been occupied, rather than a recently constructed building. Thus, unfinished dwellings that are now being sold constitute a new dwelling in the Revenue series.

New dwelling completions excl UFHDs and single dwellingseStamping
Q1 2011719871
Q2 2011597837
Q3 2011490728
Q4 2011374849
Q1 2012334595
Q2 2012270683
Q3 2012337827
Q4 20124691318
Q1 2013251690
Q2 2013425725
Q3 2013306928
Q4 20136461578
Q1 2014469872
Q2 20146061273
Q3 20146761327
Q4 20147922066
Q1 20157121198
Q2 20158351989
Q3 201511541478
Q4 201512661765
Q1 201612721094
Q2 201615111669
Q3 201615271827
Q4 201619452409
Q1 201719121678
Q2 201722602191
Q3 201726522386
Q4 201733533224

As part of the completion of the Residential Property Price Index (RPPI), eStamping data are matched by the CSO to Building Energy Rating (BER) data, compiled by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). This allows the linking of ESB connections to the eStamping data using the BER Reference Number as the linking variable. We can then determine that the time lag between a new dwelling being connected to the ESB network and the execution of stamp duty is about six months on average, (with a median of 53 days). This time lag further restricts the use of eStamping as a reliable source for estimating new housing completions.

Figure 6.4 excludes one-off dwellings from the new dwellings series but includes UFHDs which closes the gap between the two series as the series are now more comparable.

New dwelling completions incl UFHDs but excluding single dwellingseStamping
Q1 20111089871
Q2 2011915837
Q3 2011798728
Q4 2011699849
Q1 2012607595
Q2 2012617683
Q3 2012760827
Q4 20128481318
Q1 2013599690
Q2 2013743725
Q3 2013692928
Q4 201310771578
Q1 2014888872
Q2 201412281273
Q3 201413891327
Q4 201413932066
Q1 201510501198
Q2 201512831989
Q3 201515351478
Q4 201517501765
Q1 201616801094
Q2 201617951669
Q3 201620291827
Q4 201623402409
Q1 201722241678
Q2 201725722191
Q3 201729052386
Q4 201735593224

Help-To-Buy Scheme

The Help-to-Buy Scheme (HTB) is designed to help first-time buyers of newly built homes to assemble the required deposit, where a new build is defined as a dwelling that has not been previously occupied. Thus the same issues affecting the eStamping data also arise with the HTB scheme as UFHDs that are now being sold and occupied for the first time are included in the HTB scheme. A further complication is that only a very small percentage, (less than 5%), of dwellings in the HTB scheme can be linked using the Eircode. Figure 6.5 summarises data from the New Dwelling Completions series and data published by Revenue. It shows that the CSO is significantly higher than the Revenue series as not all dwellings are purchased by first-time buyers and not all buyers will qualify for the scheme.

HTB Claim ApprovalHTB RevenueNew dwelling completions incl UFHDs

Local Property Tax

The Local Property Tax data, which is also available from Revenue, are also not suitable to use as a new dwelling indicator at this time because of exemptions for new builds since 2013.

Protect Our Water

All dwellings with a private waste water treatment system are required to register their septic tank using the Protect our Water (POW) registration system. However, there can be a significant delay between the completion of a dwelling and the decision to register the septic tank. Notwithstanding this delay, Figure 6.6 below shows how the number of new builds closely follows that of POW registrations over the last three years. The POW data could therefore be a valuable indicator to identify single developments. Currently the POW system includes the MPRN which could be used to link ESB connections with Protect Our Water registrations. However, the coverage is poor and there are plans to drop this identifier from the application process.

POW registrationSingle dwelling onlyAll new dwelling completions
Q1 20159126591371
Q2 20158877351570
Q3 20159828792033
Q4 20157619792245
Q1 20166896961968
Q2 20169058842395
Q3 20169369842511
Q4 201676910963041
Q1 20178088672779
Q2 201792510383298
Q3 201796911333785
Q4 201768612314584

Production in Building and Construction Index

A Building and Construction Index is produced by the CSO each quarter which monitors trends in both the value and volume of production in building and construction. The volume part of this index had an increase of 25.4% in the annual volume of production between 2016 and 2017 for residential building. The New Dwelling Completions series from the CSO closely follows that of the Volume of Production Index for the period 2011 - 2017 as shown in Figure 6.7. However, this index includes both New Construction and Repairs & Maintenance, so a direct comparison to New Dwelling Completions is not possible. 

X-axis labelVolume of Production Index in Building and ConstructionNew dwelling completions
Q1 201180.21875
Q2 201171.71791
Q3 201168.81687
Q4 201171.91641
Q1 201268.11131
Q2 201263.41117
Q3 201264.21205
Q4 2012611458
Q1 201373.1889
Q2 201370.31146
Q3 201369.41033
Q4 2013711507
Q1 201470.11094
Q2 201475.81318
Q3 2014871404
Q4 201499.41702
Q1 201596.51371
Q2 2015111.11570
Q3 2015111.12033
Q4 2015111.52245
Q1 2016132.91968
Q2 2016148.72395
Q3 2016144.22511
Q4 2016155.13041
Q1 2017164.22779
Q2 2017173.43298
Q3 2017194.63785
Q4 2017196.54584

HomeBond registrations

HomeBond provides warranties on new dwellings that cover any major structural defects over a ten year period. Registrations are normally issued one month before work commences on site and are used as a leading indicator of new housing output by the Central Bank of Ireland,2 Figure 6.8 shows quarterly HomeBond registrations for scheme dwellings and apartments using a three-quarter lag. 

HomeBond Registrations (three-quarter lag)New dwelling completions excl single dwellings
Q1 2011743719
Q2 2011304597
Q3 2011204490
Q4 2011274374
Q1 2012168334
Q2 2012183270
Q3 2012209337
Q4 2012144469
Q1 2013195251
Q2 2013125425
Q3 2013163306
Q4 2013219646
Q1 2014408469
Q2 2014417606
Q3 2014282676
Q4 2014489792
Q1 2015511712
Q2 2015679835
Q3 20158951154
Q4 20157891266
Q1 201611571272
Q2 201614921511
Q3 20168591527
Q4 201612631945
Q1 201712911912
Q2 201714512260
Q3 201716212652
Q4 201722103353

1Data taken from Geodirectory Residential Report

2See Page 17, Central Bank Quarterly Bulletin QB2 April 2018 (PDF)

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