Donegal has suffered a decline in both planning applications and project commencements despite positive signs for the construction sector.
While figures in Donegal show a decline, the picture elsewhere in the country suggest a gradual improvement in numbers and an arrest in the decline that this county is experiencing, although only 8 counties showed an increase in commencemens.
The latest edition of the National Housing Construction Index compiled and issued by Link2Plans (www.link2plans.com) reveals a decline for Donegal in both planning applications and project commencements at -9% and -7% respectively. However, this is an improvement on the 2012 statistics, when the figure for commencements was -27%. The team of researchers at www.link2plans.com have examined every housing construction planning application and planning commencement from January to December 2013, in the production of the National Housing Construction Index.
The Index gives a direct comparison with the exact same period in 2012. Viewed on a nationwide basis, the National Housing Construction Index reveals there is a very slight decrease in planning applications (-1%) couple with a drop in project commencements (-4%) since last year.
“Significant decline” in Donegal
Donegal has reported a significant decline in the number of planning applications being made despite signs the sector is stabilising. For this period planning applications are down -9%. Applications made in Donegal decreased from 1233 in January to December 2012, to 1126 in the same period in 2013.
Other counties which showed a major shift in performance since last year are: Leitrim which went from +0% in 2012 to -37% in 2013 and Clare which went from -32% in 2012 to -2% in 2013. Kildare had the most positive reversal in performance since last year, going from -34% in 2012 to +11% in 2013.
Project commencements in Donegal are also down by -7% for 2013.
Commencement increases were seen in only eight counties, with Roscommon performing the best with a +45% increase in the number of commencements compared to the same period for 2012. Nationally, last year commencements were down -8% and with a -4% decrease this year, so improvements can be seen.
Indications of improvement elsewhere
According to the Managing Director of Link2Plans, Danny O’Shea, “the National Housing Construction Index shows that while there continues to be a decrease in activity in Donegal all the indicators are that things are beginning to improve.
The decline overall in the National Housing Construction Index for project applications and commencements was further evidence that the construction sector in Ireland is stabilising.
The introduction of the new Building Regulations has resulted in a sharp increase in the number of planning commencements, in order to get started on projects before the more onerous building regulations come into force.”