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Planning Permissions Quarter 2 2023

Fall of 23% in the number of dwelling units approved in Quarter 2 2023

Online ISSN: 2009-5279
CSO statistical publication, , 11am
Advisory Note

Users should note that the number of new dwelling units granted planning permission can vary significantly from quarter to quarter if a large development or a number of large developments are approved within the same reference quarter. Users should therefore exercise caution in extrapolating long-term trends on the basis of a single quarter’s data. Additionally, changes to applications processes for Strategic Housing Developments (SHD) and related issues in An Bord Pleanála in 2022 may impact the number of planning permissions granted over recent quarters. Users should also note that the backlog of SHD applications which have been both processed and are still before the Bord awaiting decision, may also impact the number of planning permissions granted over recent quarters.

Key Findings

  • There was an annual decrease of more than 23% in the total number of dwelling units approved in Quarter 2 (Q2) 2023 at 8,723 units compared with 11,374 units in Q2 2022, while in Q1 2023 an annual increase of 38% was recorded.

  • For the six-month period (January to June 2023) there was an overall increase of 3% in the total number of dwelling units approved when compared with the same period in 2022.

  • Apartments accounted for 58% of all dwelling units approved, while housing units made up the remaining 42%.

  • The number of houses granted planning permission fell by 18% on an annual basis to 3,702 housing units, while apartment approvals were down by 27% to 5,021 units.

  • In Q2 2023 there was an annual decrease of more than 36% in the number of one-off houses receiving planning permission, compared with an annual decline of 32% in Q1 2023.

  • There was an annual fall of 6% in multi-development houses receiving planning permission in Q2 2023 compared with an annual increase of 81% in Q1 2023.

  • Across the four local authorities of Dublin, planning permission was granted for 3,351 apartments in Q2 2023, accounting for two-thirds of all apartments granted planning permission in the state between April and June of this year.

  • More than one in five (21%) of all dwelling units granted planning permission in the state in Q2 2023 were in the Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council local authority area, with 1,747 apartment units and 93 houses.

Statistician's Comment

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) has today (08 September 2023) released Planning Permissions for Quarter 2 (Q2) 2023.

Commenting on the release, Shane O'Sullivan, Statistician in the Business Statistics Division, said: “The number of units granted planning permission in Q2 (April, May, and June) 2023 was 8,723. Of this, 58% (5,021) were for apartments and 42% (3,702) were for houses. The number of apartments approved decreased by 27% when compared with Q2 2022. The number of houses approved in Q2 2023 fell by 18% over the same period. There was a total annual decrease of 23% in the number of dwelling unit approvals in Q2 2023, following an annual increase of 38% in the previous quarter. 

Planning permission was granted for 3,351 apartments in Dublin in Q2 2023, accounting for two-thirds (67%) of all apartments granted planning approval in the state. There were 1,840 dwelling units approved in the Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council local authority area (1,747 apartments and 93 houses), accounting for more than a fifth (21%) of all dwelling units granted planning permission in Q2 2023. During the same period, the Midlands Region (Longford, Westmeath, Offaly, and Laois) recorded the lowest number of apartment units (43) granted planning permission.

Of the 5,955 individual applications for planning permissions granted in Q2 2023, 1,471 were for new construction dwellings, 1,791 for other new constructions, 1,767 for extensions, and 926 permissions were for alterations and conversions."

Headline Table

The headline table shows the total number of dwelling units (Houses and Apartments) granted planning permission in Quarter 2 (Q2) of 2022 and 2023. It also highlights the annual percentage changes.

Dwelling units granted planning permission in Quarter 2 of 2022 and 2023
 HousesApartmentsTotal
Quarter 2 20224,5326,84211,374
Quarter 2 20233,7025,0218,723
Annual % change-18.3%-26.6%-23.3%

Dwelling units granted planning permission

In the second quarter (Q2) of 2023 there were 5,021 apartments granted planning permission. During the same period, 2,530 multi-development houses and 1,172 one-off houses were approved.

Figure 1: Dwelling units granted planning permission by type, Q2 2021 - Q2 2023
Table 1 Summary of planning permissions granted for new houses and apartments, Q1 2018 - Q2 2023

Apartments accounted for 57.6% of all new dwelling units granted planning permission in Q2 2023 with 5,021 units approved. There were 3,702 houses granted planning permission in Quarter 2 of 2023. This is the first quarter since Q2 2022 when more apartments than houses have been granted planning permission.

Figure 2: Dwelling units granted planning permission, Q1 2006 - Q2 2023
Table 2a Summary of new dwelling units granted planning permission, Q1 2018 - Q2 2023

Table 2b Year to date aggregates of new dwelling units granted planning permission, Q1 2018 - Q2 2023

Planning permission applications granted by type of construction

In total, there were 5,955 applications for planning permissions granted for all developments in Q2 2023. Applications may relate to a single dwelling or a number of dwellings in the case of multi-unit development applications. Of these applications granted permission, 1,471 were for new construction dwellings, 1,791 for other new constructions, 1,767 for extensions, and 926 permissions were for alterations and conversions.

Of the 1,471 new construction dwellings granted planning permission, 1,172 were one-off houses, 179 were apartments, 112 were multi-development houses, and eight were communal dwellings.

For long labels below use
to display on multiple lines
Status
New
construction
dwellings
1471
New
construction
other
1791
Extensions1767
Alterations and
conversions
926
For long labels below use
to display on multiple lines
Status
Multi-development
houses
112
One-off houses1172
Apartments179
Communal
dwellings
8
Table 3a Summary of planning permissions granted, Q2 2023, classified by region, county and type of development

Table 3b Summary of planning permissions granted for new houses, apartments and communal dwellings, Q1 2018 - Q2 2023

An annual decrease of 15.6% has been recorded in the number of planning permissions granted for all developments, with 7,058 permissions approved in Q2 2022 compared with 5,955 permissions approved in the current quarter. During the same period an annual decrease of 31.9% was recorded in the number of planning permissions granted for new construction dwellings. There were also annual decreases in approvals for alterations and conversions (-16.2%), other new constructions (-8.1%), and extensions (-4.2%).

Figure 3c: Planning permissions granted by type of construction, Q2 2021 - Q2 2023
Table 3c Summary of planning permissions granted, Q1 2018 - Q2 2023

Planning permissions granted by type of development and functional category

There were 5,955 planning permissions granted for all functional categories in Q2 2023. Dwelling units accounted for 61.2% (3,644) of all permissions granted. Of these 3,644 permissions granted, 1,471 were for new constructions, 1,526 were for extensions, and 647 were for alterations and conversions.

Figure 4: Planning permissions granted for all types of construction by functional category, Q2 2023
Table 4a Planning permissions granted, Q2 2023, classified by region, type of development and functional category

Table 4b Total floor area planned (000 square metres) in new construction and extensions, Q2 2023, classified by region and functional category

Apartment units granted planning permission

There were 5,021 new apartments granted planning permission in Q2 2023.

Dublin had the highest proportion of new apartments approved with 66.7% (3,351) of all apartments granted planning permission in the state, followed by the South-West region with 10.0% (503 apartments), and the Mid-East region with 7.8% (390 apartments). The Eastern and Midland region (Dublin, Mid-East, and Midlands) accounted for 3,784 new apartments, 75.4% of the overall total granted planning permission. The Southern region (Mid-West, South-East, and South-West) accounted for 16.6% (832) of apartment approvals with the Northern and Western region (Border and West) accounting for the remaining 8.1% (405 apartments).

Figure 5a: New apartment units granted planning permission by region, Q2 2023

Within the county of Dublin, Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council accounted for 34.8% (1,747) and Fingal County Council accounted for 19.8% (995) of the total number of apartment units granted planning permission in the state in Q2 2023. Outside of Dublin, the highest numbers of apartments granted planning permissions were in counties Cork (458 apartments) and Galway (336 apartments). Counties Leitrim, Roscommon and Tipperary did not grant any planning permissions for apartments during the current quarter.

In Q1 and Q2 2023 Cork City & County and Galway City & County data were populated incorrectly in Table 5b, Figures 5b and 5d. This was corrected on Tuesday 19 September 2023.

Figure 5b: New apartment units granted planning permission by county, Q2 2023
Table 5a Apartment units granted planning permission by region, Q1 2020 - Q2 2023

House units granted planning permission

There were 3,702 new houses granted planning permission in Q2 2023.

The South-West region had the highest proportion of new houses approved with 27.6% (1,021) of all houses granted planning permission in the state. This was followed by the Mid-East region with 15.4% (571) of house approvals and the Mid-West region with 13.5% (498 houses). The Southern region (Mid-West, South-East, and South-West) accounted for 2,005 new houses, 54.2% of the total number of new houses granted planning permission. The Eastern and Midland region (Dublin, Mid-East, and Midlands) accounted for 32.1% (1,190) of house approvals with the Northern and Western region (Border and West) accounting for the remaining 13.7% (507 houses).

Figure 5c: New house units granted planning permission by region, Q2 2023

Cork had the highest proportion of houses granted planning permission at 25.4% (940 houses) in the state in Q2 2023. Dublin had the second highest number of houses granted planning permission at 11.5% (424 houses), followed by Clare at 9.2% (341 houses), Wexford at 8.0% (296 houses), and Louth also at 8.0% (295 houses). Leitrim with seven houses had the lowest proportion of houses granted planning permission, followed by Longford (8 houses) and Carlow (19 houses).

Figure 5d: New house units granted planning permission by county, Q2 2023
Table 5b Dwelling units granted planning permission by county, Q2 2023

Dwelling units granted by type of application – Strategic Housing Development (SHD) and non-SHD applications

The Strategic Housing Development (SHD) process is where applications of at least 100 residential units or 200+ student bed spaces can be made directly to An Bord Pleanála.

In comparison with Q2 2022, there was an annual decrease of 37.8% (6,342 to 3,943) in the total number of SHD dwelling units approved. There was an annual increase of 31.6% in the number of houses approved under the SHD process, compared with a decrease of 48.5% in the number of SHD apartments approved. In Q2 2023, 45.2% of all planning permissions (2,828 apartments and 1,115 houses) were granted under the SHD process. Apartments accounted for 71.7% of all successful SHD applications. Of the 3,702 houses granted planning permission, 30.1% were granted under the SHD process.

Please note: The Strategic Housing Development (SHD) process expired to new applications on 25 February 2022. It has been succeeded by the Large-Scale Residential Development (LRD) scheme. Please see Background Notes.

X-axis labelNon-Strategic Housing Development unitsStrategic Housing Development units
2022 Q2 - Apartment units13475495
2022 Q2 - Multi-development house units1845847
2022 Q3 - Apartment units11261221
2022 Q3 - Multi-development house units2126623
2022 Q4 - Apartment units10082750
2022 Q4 - Multi-development house units1843640
2023 Q1 - Apartment units18103703
2023 Q1 - Multi-development house units28211905
2023 Q2 - Apartment units21932828
2023 Q2 - Multi-development house units14151115
Table 6 Apartment, multi-development and one-off house units granted planning permission by type of application, Q1 2018 - Q2 2023