|Number of new dwelling completions|
|Quarter 4 2017||1,227||2,694||646||4,567|
|Quarter 4 2018||1,365||3,372||785||5,522|
There were 5,522 new dwelling completions in Q4 2018, compared with 4,567 completions in Q4 2017, an increase of 20.9%. This brings the total number of new dwelling completions in 2018 to 18,072, an increase of 25.4% to the 14,407 built in 2017.
The Q4 data for 2018 also shows that:
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.
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 Q4 2018, 817 bed spaces were completed in the student accommodation sector which brings the total completed since Q2 2016 to 6,348.
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 Q4 2018, more than three quarters of all new dwelling completions (79.3%) are urban with 20.7% being in rural areas compared to Q4 2017 when 78.6% were urban and 21.4% rural. See Table 2.
The number of new dwelling completions was highest in Dublin at 2,069 followed by 1,253 in the Mid-East. Together, Dublin and Mid-East made up 60% of all new dwelling completions Q4 2018. Outside of Dublin, there were six counties which had 100 or more new scheme dwellings in Q4 2018. These were Meath, Kildare, Louth, Wicklow, Waterford and Cork County. The highest number of single dwellings completed in Q4 2018 at a regional level was 222 in the South-West. Dublin had 592 new apartments built, three-quarters of all new apartments in Q4 2018. See Table 3.
Figure 3 shows the number of new dwelling completions at Eircode Routing Key level for 2018. The Eircode area with the most new dwelling completions was D15 'Dublin 15' (799) followed by D24 'Dublin 24' (634) and A92 'Drogheda' (613). Eight out of the top ten Eircode Routing Keys with the most new dwelling completions are in Dublin and its commuter belt accounting for 26% of all new dwelling completions in 2018.
Domestic ESB connections in Q4 2018 totalled 6,729, an increase of 17.5% on Q4 2017. 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 completions||ESB connections|
The number of previously finished dwellings in unfinished housing developments (UFHDs) dropped from 255 in Q4 2017 to 248 in Q4 2018, a decline of 2.7%. From the peak in Q3 2014 when 716 UFHDs were connected to the ESB Network, UFHDs have decreased by 65.4%. 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. These reconnections increased by 16.6% to stand at 718 in Q4 2018 compared with 616 in Q4 2017. The number of non-dwellings has decreased by 16.3% from Q4 2017 to Q4 2018. Overall, the number of new dwelling completions as a percentage of total ESB domestic connections has increased from 68% in 2011 to 80.7% in 2018 while UFHDs make up 3.5% of all ESB domestic connections in 2018 compared to 21.7% at the peak in 2014. Reconnections account for 11.6% of all ESB domestic connections compared to 22.9% at the peak in 2015. See Figure 5 and Table 4.
Table 5 shows the type of ESB connection by NUTS3 region. Border (118) and West (110) regions show the highest number of reconnections. In Q4 2018, the Border region shows the highest number of UFHDs at 59. Dublin and the Mid-East combined make up 60% of all new dwelling completions in Q4 2018. Non-dwellings are highest in the Mid-West (46) and the South-West (38).
Figure 6 shows that the average new dwelling size fell by 4.9% in 2018. This continued the decline in the average new dwelling size index since its peak in 2012 which reflects the shift from single to scheme dwelling completions over the period (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 has improved to stand at 60% in 2018. 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)|
Figure 7 shows a more detailed breakdown of scheme dwellings where they can be matched with a BER certificate. In 2011, 34% of all matched scheme dwellings are semi-detached rising to 49% in 2018. Detached scheme dwellings peaked in 2015 at 21% and stand at 12% in 2018. The mix between End of Terrace and Mid-Terrace scheme dwellings has remained stable in recent years.
|Detached||Semi-Detached||Mid-Terrace||End of Terrace||Other|
|Table 1: New dwelling completions by type of dwelling, 2011 - 2018|
|Table 2: New dwelling completions by urban-rural divide, 2011 - 2018|
|Table 3: New dwelling completions by type of dwelling and Local Authority, Q4 2018|
|Local Authority||Single||Scheme||Apartment||Total - Q4 2018||Total - 2018|
|Dublin City Council||17||264||365||646||1,843|
|Note: Local Authority based on substation of dwelling where available|
|Table 4: ESB by type of connection, 2011 - 2018|
|Table 5: ESB by type of connection and NUTS3, Q4 2018|
|Region||New dwelling completions||UFHD||Reconnection||Non-Dwelling||Total ESB connections|
|Note: NUTS3 region based on substation of dwelling where available|
|Table 6: New dwelling completions by average dwelling size, 2011 - 2018|
|Estimated weight in mix (%)|
|Estimated average size of dwelling (sqm)|
|Average dwelling size (sqm)||187.6||192.6||192.0||174.5||169.0||163.1||150.2||142.8|
|Average dwelling size index (2016 = 100)||115||118||118||107||104||100||92||88|
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.
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:
ESB connections are classified into four categories:
The dwelling type is defined by the ESB Network and classified into three categories:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 67% in 2017 and 48% in 2018.
|Table 7: New dwelling completions and BER match rate, 2011 - 2018|
|Period||Single||Scheme||Apartment||Total match rate|
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.
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/Hide Background Notes and Methodology
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