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Planning applications up and housing starts on the rise in 2014

Words: Roger Milne
Backlog / iStock_000005510636

There has been a slowdown in residential construction activity in the early part of this year, following significant increases in residential planning applications and construction project starts last year.

Latest data from the independent planning research company Link2Plans show that planning applications rose by 12 per cent and project starts were up by 30 per cent last year.

Much of the increase in activity happened in the first quarter of 2014, ahead of the introduction of new building regulations.

“Despite the slowdown in growth in the second half of the year, 2014 was a very positive year for the residential construction sector in Ireland,” said Danny O’Shea, the managing director of Link2Plans.

“This recovery in the sector, which began in the middle of 2013, is being driven by activity in Dublin and Cork which, combined, accounted for 42 per cent of all planning applications and 35 per cent of commencements in 2014.

“The positive sentiment is now beginning to radiate across the entire country, with 15 counties recording a rise in the number of planning applications when compared with the same period in 2013,” he added.

But although confidence remains strong, Link2Plans forecasts a tougher time for the residential market in 2015.