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The Dublin Housing Taskforce returns for Q1 2023 have recently been published. Overall, they indicate that there has been an overall increase in the cumulative number of units permitted planning permission of 19% (18,303 in total) when compared to Q1 2022.
The IHBA analysis of the figures indicate the growing challenge with apartment funding and viability which we raised in 2022. This Q1 analysis by the Taskforce reinforces the significant challenges with apartment viability and we hope that some of the schemes recently announced by the Government including Project Tosaigh 2, the STAR scheme and Croi Conaithe 2 will enhance apartment viability. The recent Development Charges waiver and Water Connection rebate schemes, the first reduction in soft costs in many years, should also assist.
Key findings are set out below:
- There was a slight decrease in the number of units built to date, at 0.8%.
- There was a decrease of 2.9% in the total number of units under construction compared to the previous year; this may be due to the impact the planning system is having on reaching decisions and therefore resulting in reduced start on sites.
- 2023 represents the third consecutive quarter where there have been a greater number of apartments under construction compared to houses under construction. Q1 2023 saw an increase of 2.6% compared to Q1 2022. This likely reflects density requirements within the Dublin area. We anticipate that these figures may start to decline in the future reflecting the viability concerns home builders have with apartment delivery.
- Active sites across Dublin in Q1 2023 have, overall, decreased by 8.5% compared to the same period for 2022. As mentioned, we may see this as the start of an overall trend moving away from apartment delivery over the coming years due to funding and planning permission concerns.
- Development potential refers to the number of planning permissions which have not yet commenced on site. There has been an increase in the total permitted but not commenced figure for both apartments and houses.
- Planning applications awaiting decisions have increased by 65.8% in the number of Tier 2A residential units. This raises concerns about the planning systems ability to process planning applications; and the Government’s recent commitments to improving resourcing in the planning system is therefore very much welcomed.