Minister Murphy’s Statement on CSO New Dwellings Completion Report

I welcome today’s CSO Quarter 1 2019 New Dwellings Completion Report, which confirms a strong upward trend across all housing construction activity data sets. While it is important to continue our efforts to ensure that this trend is maintained and even further improved, it is encouraging to see today’s results.

In order to properly address homelessness, affordability and the challenges in housing, we need to fix supply. These numbers show that this is happening.

The numbers of new homes becoming available for use in the twelve months to end March 2019 was 22,242. This is a 19% increase when compared to the twelve months ending March 2018 (18,766), which is a very positive endorsement of all the work that is being done to ensure that our housing supply is increasing.

Of those new homes available for use, the number of brand new dwelling completions added to the housing stock in the year to end March 2019 was 18,828 up by 25% compared to the year to end March 2018 (15,091).

792 unfinished homes were completed and 2,622 homes that were vacant for at least 2 years were brought back into use in the twelve months to ending March 2019. Increasing new builds, tackling unfinished estates and bringing vacant homes back into use are all targeted as priorities in Rebuilding Ireland so it is very positive to see that we are continuing to make significant progress in these areas.

These very positive trends are further supported by other indicators, such as Planning Permissions which show an increase of 41% on the full year 2017, whilst Commencement Notices increased by 32% and Registrations by 19% in the year to the end of March 2019.

The message from today’s CSO report is clear. The on-going efforts by my Department, relevant agencies, local authorities, Approved Housing Bodies, and other stakeholders to deliver on the goals of Rebuilding Ireland is bearing fruit, but we cannot become complacent and we must continue to work together to tackle the issue of housing supply.