New report shows just over 8,000 housing commencements in 2015

Business | Tue 8 Mar | Author – Business & Finance
property construction

Property Industry Ireland (PII) today launched the latest edition of Property Watch, a report compiling over 30 different property datasets from 20 sources to give an overview of the state of the Irish property market.

Property Watch is an initiative in partnership with AIB and DKM Economic Consultants.

The report found that housing commencements declined to less than 1,800 in Q4 2015, despite gaining momentum in previous quarters, and reached just over 8,000 in the full year.

Annual property price inflation in the rest of Ireland surpassed the rate in Dublin since the latter months of 2015, while total office take-up accelerated in Q4 2015.

Driven by the demand from both domestic and international retailers, retail space is spreading out from prime city areas.

2015 was a remarkably strong year for commercial property investment, concluding with transactions worth over €1bn in the final quarter.

Launching the report, which covers Q4 2015, the director of Property Industry Ireland Dr Peter Stafford said: “This report is issued in a period of huge political uncertainty. Whatever format the new government takes, resolving the housing crisis should be at the top of their agenda.”

He continued: “There is no doubt that activity is increasing in the Irish property sector. Whether the measure is residential sales, commercial property investment or house building, the indicators look more positive than they have done in the past. Nonetheless, there is much still to be done if the Irish property sector is to play its part in delivering real economic growth, attracting further investment into Ireland and ensuring an increased supply of high quality, affordable housing.”

Annette Hughes, director of DKM Economic Consultants, commented: “The data show that there is clear evidence that the property market embarked on a new phase of its cycle in 2015, as the strong economic recovery and the limited supply of new development across the property sector as a whole boosted take-up levels and rents. We are seeing a resumption of development activity, particularly in the Dublin office sector, which should gather momentum during 2016. This is already raising concerns about a potential oversupply situation emerging in the Dublin office market.

Paul McNamara, head of Property Strategy and MI at AIB, added: “AIB is committed to working with experienced developers to deliver homes and commercial property throughout all parts of the country where demand is evident for the stock and the developments can be shown to be economically viable. We are also actively funding commercial property investment across the country.”