6 July 2015
By Elaine Murphy
Construction falls, but mood still optimistic
Figures from the National Housing Construction Index for the first four months of 2015 show a sharp fall in activity in the residential construction sector in Cork when compared to 2014 but sentiment continues to remain positive.
The latest edition of the National Housing Construction Index from Link2Plans reveals that commencements in Cork have fallen by -56% in the first four months of 2015 when compared to the same period in 2014, while planning applications have risen by +29% year on year.
Nationally, commencements are down -51% in the first two months of 2015 with ever county recording a decrease, while applications are up +18%.
The data contained in the National Housing Construction Index is aggregated by consultancy Link2Plans from real time planning and project information in every local authority area, with the latest edition of the National Housing Construction Index tracking every project from January through to April 2015, and comparing it with the same period in 2014.
According to Danny O’Shea Managing Director of Link2Plans “Nationally, commencements were down -51% when compared to the first four months of 2014, with every county recording a fall. This continues the trend from the beginning of 2015 with commencements falling dramatically. Project applications however maintained strong double digit growth in 23 counties when compared to the first four months of 2014.Link2Plans considers the first half of 2014 to be very much an outlier in terms of construction activity on account of the structural changes in the market, which saw the introduction of new buildings regulations on 1st March 2014.”
“These one off changes in the sector created a major injection in construction activity for that period. When compared to previous years’ such as 2013, we do see growth in the construction sector, with the first four months of 2015 showing an increase of +11% when compared to the same period in 2013. When these figures are combined with the strong growth in planning applications, which have recorded increases for the past 18 months, the forecast for medium term remains positive.” continued Danny O’Shea Managing Director of Link2Plans.
Applications up +18% nationally
Danny O’Shea Managing Director of Link2Plans said “the number of planning applications in the first four months of 2015 increased by 713 from 3889 to 4602, representing an increase of +18% nationally year on year. This is evidence of the positive sentiment in the residential construction sector, with nearly every county in country seeing an increase in the number of planning applications when compared to the same period in 2014.”
Average number of weeks for one-off houses from planning to commencement
Speaking about the length of time it takes for one off houses to get from planning application to work starting on site, Danny O’Shea Managing Director of Link2Plans said “Research from Link2Plans shows that in Cork for the first four months of 2015, the average period of time it took for one off houses to get from the planning application stage to commencement of work on site was 58 weeks, which is a long lead in time.”
The National Housing Construction Index is produced by a team of researchers at Link2Plans and it relates to all Planning Applications and Project Commencements throughout the months of January to April 2015 and gives a direct comparison with the same period in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014.
Link2Plans have produced this index bi-monthly and it has been the most accurate barometer of real time sentiment (planning applications) and actual residential construction activity (project commencements) including residential developments (multi units), one-off housing (self-build) and one-off housing extensions.