Minister Eoghan Murphy’s Statement on CSO Housing Statistics Report
I welcome the publication of today’s Central Statistics Office (CSO) Report on New Dwelling Completions which my Department instigated last year.
Today’s report confirms the general upward trends across all housing construction activity data sets, reported not only by my Department under Rebuilding Ireland, but also by many other commentators, showing a welcome increase in housing construction generally.
Essentially, more than 18,000 new homes were made available for use last year. Just over 2,500 were vacant homes brought back in to use, roughly 1,000 were unfinished homes from the Fianna Fail era, and 14,500 were newly built homes occupied for the first time. And these figures don’t include the 2000 or so student bed spaces completed in that time too.
We’ve got more work to do – and it’s my responsibility as Minister to get that work done. But new housing supply is very much moving in the right direction and moving there very quickly.
Looking at it another way, the number of new homes becoming available for the first time was 75% greater at the end of 2017 than at the end of 2015, with more than 5,000 vacant homes also brought back in to use in that time. All of this progress has been made under Rebuilding Ireland.
My Department has always sought to use and publish the best available data across all its areas of operation, it was instrumental in prompting this in-depth analysis by the CSO of ESB connections data last year.
As you know, questions had been raised around the use of ESB connections as a proxy for calculating housing completions, notwithstanding their use for the last 40 years. People felt it didn’t give a clear enough picture because the connections figure includes both homes coming out of vacancy and newly-completed ghost estates and houses from the Fianna Fail era. We have that clearer picture now.
Today’s statistics, produced independently, show that Rebuilding Ireland is working and thousands of new homes are being made available for use – both through new build, as well as through tackling vacancy.