Only 45 houses were started in Donegal in the first quarter of 2012, according to latest house building statistics released by the Construction Industry Federation (CIF). This represents a 30% drop on the figures for 2011 when 64 houses were started.
There was also a major decrease in the twelve month period up to March 2012, with 201 houses started in Donegal, compared with 387 houses commenced in the twelve months leading up to March 2011. This represented a fall of 186 houses being started between the two twelve month periods.
There was better news in terms of the number of house completions with 159 units being completed in Donegal in the first quarter, which equalled the figure for the same period in 2011.
CIF Director Hubert Fitzpatrick said, “The latest statistics reveal that the level of new house building activity remains severely depressed, which points to a further sharp decline in output for 2012 in Donegal. Given the downturn in the house building activity nationally that is not a surprise.
“Most of the houses being built in Donegal or recently completed were one off units. Since the economic downturn began this has become more common practice, with most house building activity nationally being based on one off units.
“Based on the statistics for Donegal and the rest of the country, the CIF believes that there will now only be a total of 7,500 – 8,000 house unit completions this year. This would mark another significant drop in activity.
“Between Census 2006 and Census 2011, the number of households increased by 205,700 households, or around 41,140 nationally per annum over the five year period. Taking into account demographics and the rate of new household formation, CIF estimates that the sustainable demand for new homes will be 25,000 units annually. This main emphasis on demand will be in the greater metropolitan areas as soon as confidence is restored and an active mortgage market exists,” Mr. Fitzpatrick stated.