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New Dwelling Completions Q1 2023

Over a third of new dwelling completions were apartments in Q1 2023

Online ISSN: 2811-583X
CSO statistical publication, , 11am

Key Findings

  • There were 6,716 new dwelling completions over January, February, and March (Q1) 2023, a rise of 19.1% on the same three months of 2022.

  • Apartment completions in Q1 2023 stood at 2,427, up 41.0% from Q1 2022.

  • There were 3,092 scheme dwelling completions in Q1 2023, up 10.1% from Q1 2022, with 1,197 single dwellings completed, up 7.7% from Q1 2022.

  • For the first quarter since the series began in 2011, more than a third of completions (36.1%) were apartments, 46.1% were scheme dwellings and 17.8% were single dwellings.

  • Apartment completions in Q1 2023 were more than double what they were three years ago and over five times higher than five years ago.

  • By Local Electoral Area (LEA), the most completions in Q1 2023 were 332 in Rathfarnham-Templeogue, with the top 10 LEAs all being in or close to Dublin. 

  • At a regional level, the largest relative increase in completions from Q1 2022 to Q1 2023 was 37.3% in the South-West (Cork and Kerry).

  • There has been a rise of 4.9% in seasonally adjusted new dwelling completions from Q4 2022 to Q1 2023.

Statistician's Comment

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) has today (26 April 2023) released New Dwelling Completions Q1 2023. The CSO uses new connections to the electricity network as the basis for statistics on new dwelling completions, a data source that is collected nationally by one organisation in a consistent manner for all dwellings. Learn more about our Methodology or see our recent Information Note.

Commenting on the release, Justin Anderson, Statistician, said: “The number of new dwelling completions in January, February, and March (Q1) 2023 was 6,716. This was a rise of 19.1% from Q1 2022.

Completions by Dwelling Type

There were 2,427 apartment completions in Q1 2023, which is an increase of 19.1% from the same quarter in 2022. Apartments accounted for 36.1% of completions this quarter, the first time since the series began that they made up more than a third of quarterly completions. Apartment completions in the quarter are more than double what they were three years ago (1,003 in Q1 2020) and over five times higher when compared with five years ago (475 in Q1 2018), when 13.8% of completions were apartments.

Regional Breakdown

More than a third (37.6%) of completions in Q1 2023 were in Dublin, with close to a fifth (19.9%) in the Mid-East (Louth, Meath, Kildare, and Wicklow). Six of the eight regions of Ireland saw an increase in completions from Q1 2022 to Q1 2023, with small drops just in the Midlands (Laois, Longford, Offaly, and Westmeath) and South-East (Carlow, Kilkenny, Waterford, and Wexford) regions. The relative increase was greatest in the South-West (Cork City and County, and Kerry) at 37.3% and the West (Galway City and County, Mayo, and Roscommon) at 30.7%.  More than three-quarters (75.4%) of apartment completions this quarter were in Dublin (1,830). The most scheme completions were in the Mid-East (926) with the most single completions in the West (210). 

The most completions in Q1 2023 by Local Electoral Area (LEA) were in Rathfarnham-Templeogue, with the top 10 LEAs all being in or close to Dublin.

Definitions for this release

Single dwellings are one-off dwellings connected to the ESB network.

Scheme dwellings are houses that form part of a multi-unit development of two or more houses connected to the ESB network.

Apartment dwellings are within a multi-unit development and are specifically identified by the ESB as apartments. 

New Dwelling Completions
 SingleSchemeApartmentTotals
Quarter 1 20221,1112,8081,7215,640
Quarter 1 20231,1973,0922,4276,716
 % change7.7%10.1%41.0%19.1%

Largest rise in apartment completions

There were 6,716 new dwelling completions in the first quarter of 2023, a rise of 19.1% from the same quarter in 2022. Completions increased by 41.0% for apartments from 1,721 in Q1 2022 to 2,427 in Q1 2023. For the first time since the series began in 2011, apartments now make up over a third (36.1%) of completions. There is over double the number of apartment completions from only three years ago - 1,003 in Q1 2020 - when 20.3% of completions were apartments, and over five times that from five years ago, 475 in Q1 2018, when apartments made up 13.8% of completions.

The Q1 data for 2023 also shows that:

  • There was a 10.1% increase in scheme houses completed in Q1 2023 compared with Q1 2022, up from 2,808 to 3,092.
  • Single dwelling completions rose 7.7% from 1,111 in Q1 2022 to 1,197 Q2 2023.
  • Scheme dwellings accounted for 46.1% of new dwelling completions in Q1 2023 with 36.1% apartments and 17.8% single dwellings. See Figure 1 and Table 1.
Figure 1: Number of new dwelling completions by type of dwelling Q1 2016 - Q1 2023
Table 1: Number of new dwelling completions by type of dwelling, 2011 - Q1 2023

ESB domestic connections dataset used as a primary source

The primary data source used for the New Dwellings Completions series is the ESB Networks new domestic connections dataset, where the date that the connection is energised determines the date of completion. It is accepted that the ESB domestic connections dataset is overestimating new dwellings and the CSO has adjusted for this overcount by using additional information from the ESB and other data sources.

ESB connections are classified into four categories: new dwelling completions, UFHDs (previously finished houses in Unfinished Housing Developments), reconnections and non-dwellings. The dwelling type (single, scheme, apartment) and urban-rural divide are defined by the ESB Network. See Background Notes for a more detailed discussion of the classification.

The New Dwelling Completions series is based on the number of domestic dwellings connected by the ESB Network to the electricity supply and may not accord precisely with geographical boundaries.

The CSO has utilised other available data sources to validate and enhance the ESB connections dataset. However, this was only possible where the connections dataset could be confidently linked to another dataset using unique identifiers or by address matching. As the level of Eircode collection, coverage and storage increases across data sources in the housing sector, it is expected that the precision of estimates on new dwelling completions can be further enhanced.

The ESB connections data - with adjustments as detailed above - is the most consistent manner of measuring housing completions with connections made in the same way by one organisation, ESB Networks, across the country. No other currently available sources have this same level of consistency nor accuracy in identifying numbers of individual units.  

Student accommodation

There has been a significant level of construction output in the student accommodation sector. These are generally connected to the ESB Network as commercial connections and are therefore not included in the ESB domestic connections dataset used for the new dwelling completions. Further to this the data available on this sector is on a “bed space” basis and it is not currently possible to report on it as dwellings, which are self-contained units of living accommodation. Based on consultation with stakeholders in this sector, student accommodation may be included in future New Dwelling Completions reports as a separate category. Information on completed student bed spaces is provided by the Higher Education Authority (HEA). They have detailed to the CSO that there were no new bed spaces completed in Q1 2023. 

Rise in completions just in urban areas

In Q1 2023 the number of completions in urban areas was 5,749, rising 23.1% from 4,672 in Q1 2022. In rural areas, the number of completions was almost completely static, with 967 in Q1 2023, down just one from 968 in Q1 2022. Of all completions in the quarter, 85.6% were in urban areas. See Table 2.

Table 2: Number of new dwelling completions by urban-rural divide, 2011 - Q1 2023

Largest relative increases seen in South-West and West regions

Over a third (37.6%) of completions in Q1 2023 were in Dublin, with close to a fifth (19.9%) in the Mid-East (Louth, Meath, Kildare, and Wicklow). Six of the eight regions of Ireland saw an increase in completions from Q1 2022 to Q1 2023, with small drops seen in the Midlands (Laois, Longford, Offaly, and Westmeath) and South-East (Carlow, Kilkenny, Waterford, and Wexford) regions. The relative increase was greatest at 37.3% in the South-West (Cork City and County, and Kerry) followed by 30.7% in the West (Galway City and County, Mayo, and Roscommon).  See Figure 2.

Over three-quarters - 75.4% - of apartment completions this quarter were in Dublin (1,830). In both Dublin City and Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, over 80% of completions in the quarter were apartments. The most scheme completions were in the Mid-East (926), representing 29.9% of all nationally, with Kildare the local authority with the most scheme completions (514). The West region had the most single completions in Q1 2023 (210), with Cork County (131) the local authority with the most one-off dwelling completions. See Table 3.

Classification into local authorities has taken into account boundary changes between Cork City and Cork County which came into effect in May 2019. All historical data within the tables below and the PxStat interactive tables have been revised to now be based on the new boundaries. However, data within archived releases remain unchanged. 

Figure 2: Year on year comparison of new dwelling completions by region (Q1 2022 - Q1 2023)
Table 3: Number of new dwelling completions by type of dwelling and Local Authority, Q1 2023

Local Electoral Areas with most completions in Q1 2023 in or around Dublin

The most completions by Local Electoral Area (LEA) in Q1 2023 were in Rathfarnham-Templeogue (332), Glencullen-Sandyford (256) and Cabra-Glasnevin (224). All the top ten Local Electoral Areas with the most completions this quarter were in Dublin or close to Dublin (137 completions in Greystones). See Figure 3.

New dwelling completions by LEA going back to 2012 by year and quarter can be viewed in the PxStat tables NDA05 and NDQ09. There is also data available by Eircode Routing Key by year and quarter in PxStat tables NDA01 and NDQ07

Figure 3: New dwelling completions by Local Electoral Area Q1 2023

New dwelling completions and ESB connections

There was a total of 7,324 new domestic ESB connections in Q1 2023, an increase of 11.7% from 6,559 o in Q1 2022. The ESB domestic connections series continues to show a comparable trend to the NDC series compiled by the CSO as shown in Figure 4. The number of new dwelling completions as a percentage of total ESB domestic connections is increasing, standing at 91.7% this quarter.

There are still some small differences in volume between the two series. The starting point for the NDC series is the ESB domestic connections dataset, with adjustments made to account for previously finished houses in unfinished housing developments (UFHDs), reconnections and non-dwellings as shown in Figure 5 and Table 4.

Figure 4: New Dwelling Completions compared with ESB connections Q1 2016 - Q1 2023

Fall in reconnections

A property that is reconnected to the ESB Network after having been disconnected for more than two years is assigned a new Meter Point Reference Number (MPRN) and is therefore included in the ESB new connections datasets and here considered to be a reconnection. There were 354 reconnections in Q1 2023, a decrease of 41.5% from 605 in Q4 2021. 

The number of previously finished dwellings in unfinished housing developments (UFHDs) is continuing a downward pattern to stand at 39 in Q1 2023, down 48.0% from Q1 2022. The number of non-dwellings - mostly farm buildings - fell 10.0% from 239 in Q1 2022 to 215 this quarter. UFHDs accounted for just 0.5% of all connections this quarter. See Figure 5 and Table 4.

Figure 5: UFHDs, reconnections and non-dwellings Q1 2016 - Q1 2023
Table 4: Number of ESB connections by type of connection, 2011 - Q1 2023

Reconnections highest in the South-East

The highest number of reconnections in Q1 2023 was in the South-East followed by the West. Non-dwellings were joint highest in the South-West and Border regions with the highest number of UFHDs also in the Border region. Dublin had the highest proportion of connections being new dwelling completions (99.1%) with the Border region having the lowest (74.0%). See Table 5.

Table 5: Number of ESB connections by type of connection and NUTS3 region, Q1 2023

Average new dwelling size continuing to fall

Figure 6 shows that the average new dwelling size is continuing to gradually fall year on year. The average new dwelling size index for the first quarter of 2023 is at 72. This decrease is driven by both an increase in the proportion of completed dwellings being apartments and a decrease in the size of dwellings, including apartments. See Table 6. The average new dwelling size index is obtained by linking ESB connections to BER assessment data from the SEAI for new dwelling completions. See Table 7 in Background Notes for match rates.

Figure 6: Average new dwelling size index (2011 - 2023 Q1)

Provisional for 2023 based on first quarter

Table 6: Average floor size and weight in mix of new dwelling completions for dwelling types by year (2011 - 2023 Q1)

Over 20% rise in seasonally adjusted apartment completions between Q4 2022 and Q1 2023

A seasonal adjustment has been applied to the new dwelling completions to show an additional measure of change over time. This allows for a quarter-on-quarter comparison. See Background Notes for more detail on the seasonal adjustment.

For all house types, there has been a small increase in seasonally adjusted completions from 7,442 in Q4 2022 to 7,809 in Q1 2023, a rise of 4.9%. There has a be a larger relative rise (23.9%) in apartments, from 2,189 in Q4 2022 to 2,713 in Q1 2023. There has been a small 1.7% increase for single dwelling, up to 1,395, with a drop of 4.6% for scheme dwellings, down to 3,701. See Figure 7.

Figure 7: Seasonally adjusted new dwelling completions by type of dwelling Q1 2016 - Q1 2023