Residential completions continue to stall | Department of the Environment


07 May 2015

It appears there will be little improvement in the number of residential completions this year, given recent data released by the Department of the Environment (DECLG). The following DECLG table demonstrates the extent of the country’s current housing crisis and lists nationwide residential completions month-by-month since 1975.

The total number of residential units completed for the entire country in January 2015 was 693, just 17 more dwellings than the same month last year.



The completion figures for 2014 have been flattered by 20% due to completed/ unoccupied (NAMA) units connecting to the ESB. This has been confirmed by key-stakeholder the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI), who estimate the actual number of new houses completed last year was 8,900 (see post here). 

One year after the introduction of Building Control Regulations (BC(A)R SI.9) residential completions continue to flat-line. Widely acknowledged as being the most costly system of building control, our ‘reinforced’ self-certification system has added between €30,000 to €60,000 to the cost of a typical house (see post here). As a result BC(A)R SI.9 had a major impact on the feasibility of many residential projects, leading to a pronounced fall in residential commencements which we have commented on previously (see posts below).

Completion figures give the most accurate snapshot of actual houses completed and arriving on the market. No doubt the current trend is of great concern to the Ministers and the Government. 

BC(A)R SI.9 is the subject of a Ministerial review currently.

Other posts of interest:

SCSI: Republic built 2,000 fewer new homes than official estimate | Irish Times 

Regulations add up to €60k to house cost | Karl Deeter

Dáil: Fall in Housing Construction following introduction of Building Control Regulations

BCMS Commencement Notices | Nine Months On

Commencement Notices | 6 months after S.I. 9 

Minister Hogan rejects Irish Times Article

Irish Times: Dramatic fall in number of buildings being started

“30 % of self-builds in 2014 have been postponed or abandoned” | IAOSB

BC(A)R Review Meeting is “…a gathering top-heavy with vested interests.” | Irish Examiner

Irish Planning Permissions 2014: The Crisis Drags On | Constantin Gurdgiev

Building & Construction Activity in Ireland: 2014 | Constantin Gurdgiev

Cabinet’s ‘spin’ and the real Housing problem | Irish Independent

1 thought on “Residential completions continue to stall | Department of the Environment

  1. Michael O'Neill

    There have been comments passed on Twitter in relation to unfinished stock.

    There is a huge onus to complete or demolish half-finished estates and houses.
    There is a question as to which standard of building regulations should apply here.
    There is a major decision to be taken as to what kind of certification should be offered.

    Having been involved in remedial work to completed dwellings in Meath in the Noughties, and despite the hiatus caused by the 2008 Crash and its fallout, I suggest that the only standard to be applied is the one under which the buildings were permitted/ originally Commenced.

    This is partly because the overall dimensions of rooms and the outer dimensions of the dwellings (as permitted by planning permission) may be altered because of increase insulation thickness and location if completion if pursued under the new regulations.

    Also the foundation and rising wall details – assuming they are acceptable under the regulations that applied at Commencement – are unlikely to comply with the three dimensional thermal modelling check that may be used to confirm current standards are met.

    Finally the detailing of openings (doors, windows in external walls) could need to be completely revised to comply with more onerous prevention of cold bridges that may apply under the new building regulations.

    All that having been said, the poisoned chalice is the BC(A)R Certification. The lack of understanding by our lawmakers has led to inappropriate standards of certification (promised perfection) from a source shown to have been prone to compromise (self-certification).

    This is the knub of the issue. All else is vote-getting by this government from self-builders who are deluding themselves that they are competent to build and protection for rogue builders and criminal developers who can hide behind the Assigned and Design Certifiers.


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