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New Dwelling Completions Q2 2023

Apartment completions in Q2 2023 down almost 20% from same quarter last year

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

Key Findings

  • There were 7,353 new dwelling completions over Quarter 2 (Q2) 2023, a small drop of 3.5% on the same three months of 2022.

  • Apartment completions fell 18.9% from Q2 2022 to Q2 2023, standing at 1,897 this quarter.

  • There were 4,017 scheme dwelling completions in Q2 2023, up 2.0% from Q2 2022, while single dwellings were up 7.2% to 1,439 in Q2 2023.

  • Over half (54.6%) of completions in Q2 2023 were scheme dwellings, with 25.8% apartments and 19.6% single dwellings.

  • Year-on-year change from Q2 2022 to Q2 2023 varied between regions with falls in completions in Dublin and the Border, Mid-West, and South-West regions, but growth in the Midlands, West, Mid-East, and South-East regions.

  • By Local Electoral Area (LEA), the most completions in Q2 2023 were in Glencullen-Sandyford with 548, more than double that of the second highest LEA (210 in Lucan). 

  • There has been a rise of 6.3% in seasonally adjusted new dwelling completions from Q1 2023 to Q2 2023.

Statistician's Comment

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) has today (26 July 2023) released New Dwelling Completions Q2 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 (See Background Notes for more information).

Commenting on the release, Justin Anderson, Statistician, said: “The number of new dwelling completions in April, May, and June (Q2) 2023 was 7,353. This was down by 3.5% from Q2 2022.

Completions by Dwelling Type

Apartment completions fell 18.9% from Q2 2022 to Q2 2023 to stand at 1,897 this quarter. There was a small increase in both scheme and single dwellings from Q2 2022, with a rise of 2.0% for scheme dwellings to 4,017, while single dwellings were up 7.2% to 1,439 in Q2 2023.

Regional Breakdown

There was a decrease in completions in four regions from Q2 2022 to Q2 2023, with the relative drop highest in the Mid-West (27.6%), and falls also in the Dublin (11.6%), Border (9.0%), and South-West (3.8%) regions. The region with the biggest relative increase from Q2 2022 to Q2 2023 was the South-East (21.1%) with rises also in the Midlands (17.2%), West (5.1%) and Mid-East (4.7%) regions. The most completions in Q2 2023 were in Dublin (2,393) and the Mid-East (1,708), with more than half (55.8%) of completions this quarter in these two regions. More than four-fifths (83.8%) of apartment completions this quarter were in these two regions.

The most completions in Q2 2023 by Local Electoral Area (LEA) were in Glencullen-Sandyford where there were 548 completions, more than double that in the second highest LEA (210 in Lucan).

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
Quarter 2 20221,3423,9382,3397,619
Quarter 2 20231,4394,0171,8977,353
 % change7.2%2.0%-18.9%-3.5%

Fall in apartment completions

There were 7,353 new dwelling completions in the second quarter of 2023, a fall of 3.5% from the same quarter in 2022. By dwelling type, it is just for apartments where this year-on-year decrease is seen with a fall of 18.9% from 2,339 apartment completions in Q2 2022 to 1,897 in Q2 2023. 

The Q2 data for 2023 also shows that:

  • There was a 2.0% increase in scheme houses completed in Q2 2023 compared with Q2 2022, up from 3,938 to 4,017.
  • Single dwelling completions rose 7.2% from 1,342 in Q2 2022 to 1,439 in Q2 2023.
  • Scheme dwellings accounted for 54.6% of new dwelling completions this quarter, with 25.8% apartments and 19.6% single dwellings. See Figure 1 and Table 1.
Figure 1: Number of new dwelling completions by type of dwelling Q1 2016 - Q2 2023
Table 1: Number of new dwelling completions by type of dwelling, 2011 - Q2 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 8 new bed spaces completed in Q2 2023. 

Small decrease in completions in urban areas

In Q2 2023 the number of completions in urban areas was 6,176, down 5.0% from 6,499 in Q2 2022. In rural areas there was a small rise in completions, up 5.1% from 1,120 in Q2 2022 to 1,177 in Q2 2023. Of all completions in the quarter, 84.0% were in urban areas. See Table 2.

Table 2: Number of new dwelling completions by urban-rural divide, 2011 - Q2 2023

Fall in completions in four regions of Ireland, including Dublin

Half of the eight regions of Ireland saw a drop in completions from Q2 2022 to Q2 2023, with an increase in the other four regions. The largest relative decrease was in the Mid-West (Clare, Limerick, and Tipperary) - 27.6% - with falls also in the Dublin (11.6%), Border (9.0%) and South-West (3.8%) regions. The largest relative increase was the South-East (Carlow, Kilkenny, Waterford, and Wexford) - 21.1% - with rises also in the Midlands (17.2%), West (5.1%) and Mid-East (4.7%) regions. 

Close to a third (32.5%) of completions in Q2 2023 were in Dublin, with over a fifth (23.2%) in the Mid-East (Louth, Meath, Kildare, and Wicklow). See Figure 2.

Over two-thirds - 68.7% - of apartment completions this quarter were in Dublin (1,304). Over nine in ten completions in Dublin City were apartments (520), however the most apartment completions were in Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown (555). The most scheme completions were in the Mid-East (1,227), while Fingal was the local authority with the most scheme completions (524). The South-West region (Cork and Kerry) had the most single completions in Q2 2023 (256), with Cork County (173) 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 (Q2 2022 - Q2 2023)
Table 3: Number of new dwelling completions by type of dwelling and Local Authority, Q2 2023

Glencullen-Sandyford was Local Electoral Area with most completions in Q2 2023, more than double the second highest area

The most completions by Local Electoral Area (LEA) in Q2 2023 was in Glencullen-Sandyford (548), which was more than double that of the second highest LEA (210 in Lucan). Portlaoise was the only LEA outside of Dublin, Kildare, and Wicklow in the top ten Local Electoral Areas with the most completions this quarter. 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 Q2 2023

New dwelling completions and ESB connections

There was a total of 7,979 new domestic ESB connections in Q2 2023, a decrease of 6.9% from 8,570 in Q2 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 continues to increase, standing at 92.2% 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 - Q2 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 353 reconnections in Q2 2023, a decrease of 43.0% from 619 in Q2 2022. 

The number of previously finished dwellings in unfinished housing developments (UFHDs) is still very low with 78 in Q2 2023, down 21.2% from Q2 2022. The number of non-dwellings - mostly farm buildings - fell 16.3% from 233 in Q2 2022 to 195 this quarter. See Figure 5 and Table 4.

Figure 5: UFHDs, reconnections and non-dwellings Q1 2016 - Q2 2023
Table 4: Number of ESB connections by type of connection, 2011 - Q2 2023

Over half of UFHDs in the Border Region

The highest number of reconnections in Q2 2023 was in the Mid-West region (62) where 14.1% of new connections were reconnections. Non-dwellings were highest in the West region (37). The Border region had the highest number of UFHDs (42) which was over half (53.8%) of all UFHDs this quarter. Dublin had the highest proportion of connections being new dwelling completions (98.3%) with the Border region having the lowest (74.8%). See Table 5.

Table 5: Number of ESB connections by type of connection and NUTS3 region, Q2 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 over the first two quarters of 2023 is at 74. 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 Q2)

Provisional for 2023 based on first two quarters

Table 6: Average floor size and weight in mix of new dwelling completions for dwelling types by year (2011 - 2023 Q2)

More than 25% increase in seasonally adjusted scheme completions between Q1 2023 and Q2 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 6.3% increase in seasonally adjusted completions from 7,488 in Q1 2023 to 7,961 in Q2 2023. However, for apartment completions there has been a fall of 18.7% from 2,591 in Q1 2023 to 2,107 in Q2 2023. There has been a 26.4% increase for scheme dwellings, up to 4.435, with a 2.1% rise for single dwellings, up to 1,418. See Figure 7.

Figure 7: Seasonally adjusted new dwelling completions by type of dwelling Q1 2016 - Q2 2023

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