Paudie Coffey: ‘We must build right homes in the right places’


by BRegs Blog

The Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Paudie Coffey T.D.,  made the following comments at the opening of the Irish Planning Institute’s annual conference in Cork in April 16th 2015: “We are likely to build just under 4,000 new homes in Dublin this year whereas we need to build 8,000 to meet demand.”

However figures released by DECLG on housing completions in the first quarter of 2015 suggest estimates for the Dublin region made by Minister Coffey are optimistic.

House Completions 1994-2015.pdf [Converted]

The DECLG Q1 figures indicate Dublin may only have 2,600 houses completed in 2015, similar to that in 2014 which was the 4th lowest level of house completions since records began. This is far short of the 8,000 needed and the 4,000 figure mentioned by the Minister.

  • In a Newstalk Breakfast Radio interview on 16 June 2015 Tom Parlon of the Construction Industry Federation admitted to presenter Ivan Yates that “we will be lucky to build half of the houses that we need this year”Link: (from 15 mins) Listen here.
  • In ‘Fourth lowest year’ of house builds | 12 May 2015 Irish Examiner, the Construction Industry Federation (CIF) said Government, Central Bank, and ESRI all believe there is a need to build 25,000 units every year to meet the country’s demographic needs. Quote:

In 2014, only 11,016 housing units were completed. ...CIF pointed out it was estimated Dublin requires 7,000 to 8,000 houses each year.

Despite the increase in overall house completion levels, 2014 was still the fourth lowest year of house completions on record…

CIF director general Tom Parlon said: “It is a positive there has been an overall increase in units built but it is off a very low base. Builders want to build but they have to be able to access finance and the cost of building has to be economically viable.”

He pointed out that apart from Dublin, for most of the rest of the country, it is still cheaper to buy a house than it is to build a new one.”

Building control regulations introduced last year have been widely criticised by industry experts as delivering little new consumer protections while adding massively to costs. Estimated as adding between €30,000 to €60,000 for new-build houses, SI.9 has contributed towards a stalling of housing output despite double-digit increases in rental levels and prices, particularly in Dublin.

  • Tom Parlon of the Construction Industry Federation (CIF) in a radio interview with Sean O’Rourke on RTE Radio 1 on 16 June commented that “if there was money in building houses we would be building on-demand“. Listen to full interview here.

Other posts of interest:

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

Ministers Kelly & Coffey back CIF objections to better building standards

House completions continue to stall | Department of the Environment

‘So far, we have been spared tragedy”- the legacy of boom-time housing | Michael Clifford

Peter McVerry says he’d be embarrassed if he was Alan Kelly | Journal

Building regulations make Dodge City look good | Irish Examiner

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

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