THE commencement of residential construction projects in Donegal has seen a dramatic in the first two months of 2014, new figures reveal.
The figures which show a 200 per cent jump across the county when compared with the same period in 2013. The figures are contained in the National Housing Construction Index, compiled and issued by consultancy Link2Plans.
However, while the number of new planning applications is up 21 per cent nationally, applications are down in 10 counties, including Donegal which recorded a fall of 15 per cent.
The data contained in the National Housing Construction Index is aggregated by Link2Plans from ‘real time’ planning and project information in every local authority area.
According to Mr Danny O’Shea, Managing Director of Link2Plans: “Nationally, a definite upward trend began to emerge in the last four months of 2013 and Link2Plans were the first to categorically state that the first quarter of 2014 would see a significant increase in residential construction activity. What we have seen in January and February of this year with project commencements has been nothing short of staggering.”
“Three key factors have all aligned to create this huge increase. The first being a pent up demand in the sector, the second being increased confidence to start new residential projects, and thirdly the rush to lodge commencement notices before the March 1 deadline for the introduction of the new building regulations. What was regarded as purely a regulatory change appears to have had a seismic impact on residential construction activity, greater than any increase arising from changes in last October’s budget.”
He added that construction related statistics tend to be up to six months out-of-date which limits their usefulness to those actual working and providing services in the sector. The National Housing Construction Index from Link2Plans is able to quickly identify patterns and indications of activity in every county in Ireland.”
Meanwhile, while the number of planning applications is up 21 per cent nationally, the only downside to overall figures is that applications are down in 10 counties, including Donegal which recorded a fall of 15 per cent.
Danny O’Shea continued that, overall, the 21 per cent rise across the country in new applications indicates a strong activity throughout the country.
However this was not uniform. The largest fall in planning applications took place in Sligo (-48 per cent), Leitrim (-47), Louth (-32) and Roscommon (-18). There were also some very large increases in planning applications with Offaly (+129 per cent), Wicklow (+59), Waterford (+47), Tipperary (+45), Galway (+36) and Limerick (+35).”
The National Housing Construction Index is produced by a team of researchers at www.link2plans.com and it relates to all planning applications and planning commencements throughout the months of January and February 2014 and gives a direct comparison with the same period in 2011, 2012 and 2013.
Link2Plans have produced this index bi-monthly and it has been the most accurate barometer of real time sentiment (planning applications) and to actual residential construction activity (housing commencements) including residential developments (multi units), one-off housing (self-build) and one-off housing extensions.