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E-mail: sscu@cso.ie Justin Anderson (+353) 1 498 4316 Kieran Culhane (+353) 1 498 4364
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New Dwelling Completions

Quarter 1 2019

Number of new dwelling completions
SingleSchemeApartmentTotals
Quarter 1 20189712,0234763,470
Quarter 1 20191,0982,5646134,275
 % change13.1%26.7%28.8%23.2%

Number of new dwelling completions up 23.2% in Q1 2019

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There were 4,275 new dwelling completions in Q1 2019, compared with 3,470 completions in Q1 2018, an increase of 23.2%. 

The Q1 data for 2019 also shows that:

  • The number of scheme dwellings rose from 2,023 to 2,564, an increase of 26.7%, between Q1 2018 and Q1 2019.
  • Single dwellings increased by 13.1% between Q1 2018 and Q1 2019, from 971 to 1,098.
  • There were 613 new apartments completed in Q1 2019, an increase of 28.8% on Q1 2018.
  • Scheme dwellings made up 60.0% of all new dwelling completions in Q1 2019 while 25.7% were single dwellings and 14.3% were apartments. See Table 1.

ESB domestic connections dataset used as 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, reconnections and non-dwellings. The dwelling type (single, scheme, apartment) and urban-rural divide is defined by the ESB Network. See Background Notes and Methodology 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 Local Authority or Eircode Routing Key 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.

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 and have also not been included in ESB connections released by DHPLG. 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. In Q1 2019, 14 bed spaces were completed in the student accommodation sector which brings the total completed since Q2 2016 to 6,362.

 

Just over three quarters of all new dwelling completions in urban areas in Q1 2019

The ESB domestic connections dataset provides information on the type of connection and whether it is in an urban or rural area. Figure 2 below shows that in Q1 2019, more than three quarters of all new dwelling completions (79.2%) are urban with 20.8% being in rural areas compared to Q1 2018 when 77.0% were urban and 23.0% rural. See Table 2.

UrbanRural
Q1 20161415564
Q2 20161663736
Q3 20161679813
Q4 20162133906
Q1 20172073705
Q2 20172423851
Q3 20172845940
Q4 20173586976
Q1 20182672798
Q2 20183434968
Q3 20183668991
Q4 201843511141
Q1 20193384891

Dublin and Mid-East make up 60% of all new dwelling completions in Q1 2019

The number of new dwelling completions was highest in Dublin at 1,488 followed by 1,072 in the Mid-East. Together, Dublin and Mid-East made up 60% of all new dwelling completions Q1 2019. Outside of Dublin, there were five counties which had 100 or more new scheme dwellings in Q1 2019. These were Meath, Kildare, Louth, Wicklow, and Cork County. The highest number of single dwellings completed in Q1 2019 at a regional level was 190 in the West. Dublin had 487 new apartments built, over three-quarters of all new apartments completed in Q1 2019 (79%). See Table 3.

'Dublin 15' the Eircode area with the most new dwelling completions in Q1 2019

Figure 3 shows the number of new dwelling completions at Eircode Routing Key level for Q1 2019. The Eircode area with the most new dwelling completions was D15 'Dublin 15' (215) followed by W91 'Naas' (163) and D24 'Dublin 24' (138). Nine out of the top ten Eircode Routing Keys with the most new dwelling completions are in Dublin and its commuter belt accounting for 30% of all new dwelling completions in Q1 2019.

New dwelling completions and ESB connections

Domestic ESB connections in Q1 2019 totalled 5,279, an increase of 18.4% on Q1 2018. The ESB domestic connections series shows a comparable trend to the NDC series compiled by the CSO as shown in Figure 4. However, there is a significant difference 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.

New dwelling completionsESB connections
Q1 201619793150
Q2 201623993486
Q3 201624923874
Q4 201630394413
Q1 201727783902
Q2 201732744566
Q3 201737854991
Q4 201745625726
Q1 201834704457
Q2 201844025460
Q3 201846595739
Q4 201854926729
Q1 201942755279

UFHDs decline by 11.2% in Q1 2019

The number of previously finished dwellings in unfinished housing developments (UFHDs) dropped from 205 in Q1 2018 to 182 in Q1 2019, a decline of 11.2%. From the peak in Q3 2014 when 716 UFHDs were connected to the ESB Network, UFHDs have decreased by 74.6%. A property which is reconnected to the ESB Network after having been disconnected for more than two years, is assigned a new MPRN and is therefore included in the ESB connections datasets. The number of reconnections stayed static standing at 559 in Q1 2019. The number of non-dwellings has increased by 17.4% from 224 in Q1 2018 to 263 in Q1 2019. Overall, the number of new dwelling completions as a percentage of total ESB domestic connections has increased from 68% in 2011 to 81% in Q1 2019 while UFHDs make up 3.4% of all ESB domestic connections now compared to 21.7% at the peak in 2014. Reconnections account for 10.6% of all ESB domestic connections compared to 22.9% at the peak in 2015. See Figure 5 and Table 4.

UFHDReconnectionNon-dwelling
Q1 2016495477199
Q2 2016359517211
Q3 2016557625200
Q4 2016431701242
Q1 2017358545221
Q2 2017410643239
Q3 2017309672225
Q4 2017257621286
Q1 2018205558224
Q2 2018178642238
Q3 2018165692223
Q4 2018267729241
Q1 2019182559263

Most reconnections and UFHDs outside of Dublin

Table 5 shows the type of ESB connection by NUTS3 region. Border (116) and West (94) regions show the highest number of reconnections in Q1 2019. The Border region also shows the highest number of UFHDs at 32. Dublin and the Mid-East combined make up 60% of all new dwelling completions in Q1 2019. Non-dwellings are highest in the South-West (50) and the Border (45) regions.

Average new dwelling size continues to fall

Figure 6 shows that the average new dwelling size fell by 7.6% in 2019 from 2018. The 2019 figure is provisional and based on quarter 1 completions only, it will be revised as more dwellings are completed throughout 2019. The decline in the average new dwelling size index in Q1 2019 is primarily due to a decrease in the average size of scheme dwellings completed in the quarter (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. The overall match rate stands at 40% in Q1 2019. This will increase as more BER data is available for future quarters as there is sometimes a lag between ESB connections and BER assessment . The match rate for single dwellings is lower than for scheme dwellings and apartments (see Table 7 in Background Notes and Methodology).

 

Index (2016 = 100)
2011114.706307677544
2012118.089683557604
2013117.596589765593
2014106.642928268571
2015103.5201424814
2016100
201791.7921660190829
201888.4603400050166
2019*81.7262291854498
Table 1: New dwelling completions by type of dwelling, 2011 - Q1 2019
Period SingleSchemeApartmentTotal
2011Q11,1564472721,875
2011Q21,1943802171,791
2011Q31,1973051851,687
2011Q41,2672261481,641
Year4,8141,3588226,994
2012Q17972111231,131
2012Q2847194761,117
2012Q3868244931,205
2012Q49893151541,458
Year3,5019644464,911
2013Q163817477889
2013Q27212811441,146
2013Q3727267391,033
2013Q48614332131,507
Year2,9471,1554734,575
2014Q16253091601,094
2014Q27123652411,318
2014Q37285061701,404
2014Q49106151771,702
Year2,9751,7957485,518
2015Q16596061061,371
2015Q27356741611,570
2015Q38798992552,033
2015Q49791,1151512,245
Year3,2523,2946737,219
2016Q16989403411,979
2016Q28871,2602522,399
2016Q39791,2252882,492
2016Q41,0961,6562873,039
Year3,6605,0811,1689,909
2017Q18721,4254812,778
2017Q21,0351,7844553,274
2017Q31,1282,0126453,785
2017Q41,2262,6926444,562
Year4,2617,9132,22514,399
2018Q19712,0234763,470
2018Q21,1522,7634874,402
2018Q31,2062,8396144,659
2018Q41,3593,3627715,492
Year4,68810,9872,34818,023
2019Q11,0982,5646134,275
Table 2: New dwelling completions by urban-rural divide, 2011 - Q1 2019
Period UrbanRuralTotal
2011Q18411,0331,874
2011Q27061,0811,787
2011Q36021,0851,687
2011Q44891,1521,641
Year2,6384,3516,989
2012Q14157161,131
2012Q23687491,117
2012Q34257781,203
2012Q46028541,456
Year1,8103,0974,907
2013Q1329560889
2013Q25346111,145
2013Q33986351,033
2013Q47747331,507
Year2,0352,5394,574
2014Q15405541,094
2014Q27166021,318
2014Q37956091,404
2014Q49127901,702
Year2,9632,5555,518
2015Q18325391,371
2015Q29526181,570
2015Q31,2817512,032
2015Q41,4208242,244
Year4,4852,7327,217
2016Q11,4155641,979
2016Q21,6637362,399
2016Q31,6798132,492
2016Q42,1339063,039
Year6,8903,0199,909
2017Q12,0737052,778
2017Q22,4238513,274
2017Q32,8459403,785
2017Q43,5869764,562
Year10,9273,47214,399
2018Q12,6727983,470
2018Q23,4349684,402
2018Q33,6689914,659
2018Q44,3511,1415,492
Year14,1253,89818,023
2019Q13,3848914,275
Table 3: New dwelling completions by type of dwelling and Local Authority, Q1 2019
Local AuthoritySingleSchemeApartmentTotal - Q1 2019
Border1354921205
Cavan235634
Donegal6711785
Leitrim41611
Monaghan3131264
Sligo101011
West19010612308
Galway City518831
Galway County100403143
Mayo5044195
Roscommon354039
Mid-West123838214
Clare4214056
Limerick3051384
Tipperary5118574
South-East1471581306
Carlow1328041
Kilkenny4116057
Waterford2946176
Wexford64680132
South-West18228837507
Cork City7232151
Cork County12723712376
Kerry4828480
Dublin669354871,488
Dublin City Council20213297530
Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown1311086209
Fingal1827956353
South Dublin1533348396
Mid-East161877341,072
Louth2912519173
Kildare433454392
Meath612267294
Wicklow281814213
Midlands946813175
Laois2414038
Longford1227039
Offaly2771044
Westmeath3120354
Note: Local Authority based on substation of dwelling where available
Table 4: ESB by type of connection, 2011 - Q1 2019
Period NDCUFHDReconnectionNon-DwellingTotal
2011Q11,8753832412052,704
2011Q21,7913312242092,555
2011Q31,6873262991952,507
2011Q41,6413383262182,523
Year6,9941,3781,09082710,289
2012Q11,1312783021791,890
2012Q21,1173572941961,964
2012Q31,2054312711632,070
2012Q41,4583853931852,421
Year4,9111,4511,2607238,345
2013Q18893542801561,679
2013Q21,1463233471611,977
2013Q31,0333933921441,962
2013Q41,5074364541922,589
Year4,5751,5061,4736538,207
2014Q11,0944223981652,079
2014Q21,3186275602152,720
2014Q31,4047166491632,932
2014Q41,7026036832103,198
Year5,5182,3682,29075310,929
2015Q11,3713427421792,634
2015Q21,5704537462102,979
2015Q32,0333846701943,281
2015Q42,2454927302623,729
Year7,2191,6712,88884512,623
2016Q11,9794954771993,150
2016Q22,3993595172113,486
2016Q32,4925576252003,874
2016Q43,0394317012424,413
Year9,9091,8422,32085214,923
2017Q12,7783585452213,902
2017Q23,2744106432394,566
2017Q33,7853096722254,991
2017Q44,5622576212865,726
Year14,3991,3342,48197119,185
2018Q13,4702055582244,457
2018Q24,4021786422385,460
2018Q34,6591656922235,739
2018Q45,4922677292416,729
Year18,0238152,62192622,385
2019Q14,2751825592635,279
Table 5: ESB by type of connection and NUTS3, Q1 2019
RegionNew dwelling completionsUFHDReconnectionNon-DwellingTotal ESB connections
Border2053211645398
Dublin1,488450101,552
Mid-East1,0721546341,167
Midlands175165128270
Mid-West214266528333
South-East306306031427
South-West507297750663
West308309437469
Total regions4,2751825592635,279
Note: NUTS3 region based on substation of dwelling where available
Table 6: New dwelling completions by average floor size, 2011 - Q1 2019
 20112012201320142015201620172018Q1 2019
Estimated weight in mix (%)
Single69%71%64%54%45%37%30%26%26%
Scheme19%20%25%33%46%51%55%61%60%
Apartment12%9%10%14%9%12%15%13%14%
Estimated average size of dwelling (sqm)
Single230230237219219230225217186
Scheme107114125142137135128127123
Apartment736878748477828484
Average dwelling size (sqm)187.4192.9192.1174.2169.1163.3149.9144.5133.5
Average dwelling size index (2016 = 100)115118118107104100928882
% change 2.9%-0.4%-9.3%-2.9%-3.4%-8.2%-3.6%-7.6%

Background Notes and Methodology

Scope and Background

The New Dwelling Completions series is produced by the CSO on a quarterly basis. A Housing Analytics Group (HAG) was established in 2017 by the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (DHPLG). This group, which met for the first time in May 2017, consists of representatives of bodies with a significant interest and role in housing, housing policy and related policy areas. 

The HAG focused on a review of housing related data published nationally and in particular on the number of dwellings built every year. Arising from the work of this group and other direct discussions between the CSO and DHPLG, a significant outcome was to assess the suitability of current housing indicators for estimating the number of new dwelling completions in Ireland.

Historically, the number of new dwellings built in Ireland, as published by the DHPLG, was based on the number of connections to the ESB Network. However, in recent years it became apparent that this series was overestimating the levels of new dwelling construction in Ireland. The New Dwelling Completions series will look to replace this and other available indicators of housing activity in Ireland. This series will include information on dwelling type, urban/rural location, activity by Local Authority and by Eircode Routing Key. It will continue to be based on domestic ESB connections but will correct for over-coverage by using additional information from ESB Networks and incorporating data from other sources. It also includes data on the number of reconnections and on houses from unfinished housing developments that are coming back into use. This will provide policy-makers with a valuable insight into the number of new dwellings available for occupation in the quarterly period concerned and also show data on the numbers of dwellings being constructed.

Geographic Split

The New Dwelling Completions data series is based on the number of new dwellings connected by the ESB Network to the electricity supply and may not accord precisely with Local Authority or Eircode Routing Key boundaries. The NDC series is split into counties and Eircode Routing Keys based on the information of the substation rather than the exact location of the dwelling. As Eircode becomes available as the unique identifier, it will replace the source of identifying the location of a new dwelling. 

The breakdown of ESB connections by type of connection and dwelling is based on NUTS3 regions as described below:

  • Border: Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Monaghan, Sligo
  • Dublin: all four local authorities within Dublin
  • Mid-East: Kildare, Louth, Meath, Wicklow
  • Midlands: Laois, Longford, Offaly, Westmeath
  • Mid-West: Clare, Limerick, Tipperary
  • South-East: Kilkenny, Waterford, Wexford
  • South-West: Cork City and County, Kerry
  • West: Galway City and County, Mayo, Roscommon

Classification

ESB connections are classified into four categories:

  • New dwelling completion: Recently constructed dwelling, where a dwelling is a self-contained unit of living accommodation.
  • Reconnection: A dwelling that has been reconnected to the ESB Network after a period of two years of disconnection.
  • UFHD: Connection to the ESB Network of previously completed dwellings in Unfinished/Ghost estates. A methodology was developed to identify houses which were complete in 2011 and were subsequently connected to the ESB Network. Although these dwellings may have required finishing to become available for use they are not new dwelling completions for the purposes of this publication. However, dwellings in Unfinished/Ghost estates which were not in a complete state in 2011 are included as new dwelling completions on connection to the ESB Network.
  • Non-dwelling: A building connected to the ESB Network through a domestic connection that is not constructed for residential use. 

The dwelling type is defined by the ESB Network and classified into three categories:

  • Single: If a single domestic dwelling or farm premises is to be connected to the ESB Network, Form NC21 must completed and the dwelling is defined as 'single'.
  • Scheme: If a new multi-unit development with two or more houses is to be connected to the ESB Network, Form NC12 must be completed and each dwelling is defined as 'scheme'. 
  • Apartment: If a new multi-unit development with two or more apartments is to be connected to the ESB Network, Form NC12 must be completed and each dwelling is defined as 'apartment'.

The classification of urban and rural dwellings is also defined by the ESB Network and based on the Distribution Use of System (DUoS) tariff, which is a fee that ESB Networks charge Electricity Suppliers for use of the Electricity Distribution System3

  • Urban: DUoS Group = DG1, urban domestic.
  • Rural: DUoS Group = DG2, rural domestic.

Coverage

Only domestic connections where a dwelling is a self-contained unit of living accommodation is included in the New Dwelling Completions series. Commercial properties, shared and communal living arrangements are excluded.

Revisions

The New Dwelling Completions series is a new statistical product compiled from third party data sources. The series will be revised on an ongoing basis as more timely and accurate data sources become available and these data sources can be matched to the ESB new connections data set.

Data sources

The primary data source used for the New Dwellings Completions series is the ESB 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 overestimates new dwellings and the CSO has adjusted for this overcount by using additional information from the ESB and other data sources. The ESB domestic connections dataset is matched by the CSO to Building Energy Rating (BER) data, compiled by the Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland (SEAI). Under Statutory Instrument (S.I.) No. 243 of 2012, all residential property for sale must disclose their BER assessment (with some very minor exceptions). The BER includes detailed information on the type of dwelling, the type of certificate (Provisional, Final, Existing) as well as the date of assessment and construction. As the collection, storage and maintenance of Eircode improves, other data sources can be further consulted to improve on the accuracy of the series.

Average New Dwelling Size Index

The average new dwelling size index is based on measurements of the total floor area recorded by a BER Assessor in accordance with the BER Regulations, the BER Assessor's Code of Practice and all other directions issued by the SEAI4. As an MPRN, the unique identifier for an ESB connection, is required for the BER certification process it is possible to link new housing completions data to BER certificates to produce the index. The match rate between new dwelling completions and BER certificates is consistently highest among scheme dwellings. Table 7 shows the percentage of new dwelling completions that can be matched to a BER certificate by dwelling type and year. Between 2015 and 2017, nine out of ten scheme dwellings had a BER certificate compared to less than one in five single dwellings. The match rate for apartment has increased in recent years to stand at 68% in 2017 and 60% in 2018.

Table 7: New dwelling completions and BER match rate, 2011 - Q1 2019
PeriodSingleSchemeApartmentOverall match rate
201113%71%44%28%
201212%78%28%27%
201313%79%44%33%
201413%87%52%42%
201518%89%25%51%
201620%89%50%59%
201718%93%68%67%
201811%90%60%65%
Q1 20193%60%24%40%

While the time lag between connection to the ESB Network and BER assessment can explain missing BER certificates, the data in Table 7 indicates that there are additional factors at play for single dwellings and apartments.

The low match rate for single dwellings is due to the large number of self builds where dwellings are not intended for sale or rent, similarly the low match rate for apartments can be explained by dwellings not intended for sale. These include conversions from single dwellings as well as social housing and developments in the build-to-rent sector. Such developments will often have a range of Provisional BER certificates or a partial number of BERs for the development without having a Final BER for all properties. 

1 Form NC2: https://www.esbnetworks.ie/docs/default-source/publications/connection-to-a-single-domestic-dwelling-or-farm-premises-application-(nc2)-05-06-18.pdf?sfvrsn=a75c33f0_16

2 Form NC1: https://www.esbnetworks.ie/docs/default-source/publications/multi-unit-development-application-(nc1)-05-06-18.pdf?sfvrsn=7e4433f0_14

3 Rules for Application of DUoS Tariff Group: https://www.esbnetworks.ie/docs/default-source/publications/rules-for-application-of-duos-tariff-group.pdf?sfvrsn=a44b33f0_4

4 BER Assessor Support: https://www.seai.ie/energy-in-business/ber-assessor-support/deap/ 

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