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E-mail: sscu@cso.ie Hannah Heeran (+353) 1 498 4293 Laura Flannelly (+353) 1 498 4230 Kieran Culhane (+353) 1 498 4364
For general information on CSO statistics:
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CSO statistical release, , 11am

New Dwelling Completions

Quarter 4 2018

 Number of new dwelling completions
 SingleSchemeApartmentTotals
20174,2647,9162,22714,407
20184,69911,0012,37218,072
% change10.2%39.0%6.5%25.4%
     
Quarter 4 20171,2272,6946464,567
Quarter 4 20181,3653,3727855,522
 % change11.2%25.2%21.5%20.9%

Number of new dwelling completions up 20.9% in Q4 2018

Figure 1: New dwelling completions by type of dwelling, 2016 - 2018
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There were 5,522 new dwelling completions in Q4 2018, compared with 4,567 completions in Q4 2017, an increase of 20.9%. This brings the total number of new dwelling completions in 2018 to 18,072, an increase of 25.4% to the 14,407 built in 2017.

The Q4 data for 2018 also shows that:

  • The number of scheme dwellings rose from 2,694 to 3,372, an increase of 25.2%, between Q4 2017 and Q4 2018.
  • Single dwellings increased by 11.2% between Q4 2017 and Q4 2018, from 1,227 to 1,365.
  • There were 785 new apartments completed in Q4 2018, an increase of 21.5% on Q4 2017.
  • Scheme dwellings made up 61.1% of all new dwelling completions in Q4 2018 while 24.7% were single dwellings and 14.2% were apartments. See Table 1.

ESB domestic connections dataset used as primary source

The primary data source used for the New Dwellings Completions series is the ESB Networks new domestic connections dataset where the date that the connection is energised determines the date of completion. It is accepted that the ESB domestic connections dataset is overestimating new dwellings and the CSO has adjusted for this overcount by using additional information from the ESB and other data sources.

ESB connections are classified into four categories: new dwelling completions, UFHDs, reconnections and non-dwellings. The dwelling type (single, scheme, apartment) and urban-rural divide is defined by the ESB Network. See Background Notes and Methodology for a more detailed discussion of the classification.

The New Dwelling Completions series is based on the number of domestic dwellings connected by the ESB Network to the electricity supply and may not accord precisely with Local Authority or Eircode Routing Key boundaries.

The CSO has utilised other available data sources to validate and enhance the ESB connections dataset. However, this was only possible where the connections dataset could be confidently linked to another dataset using unique identifiers or by address matching. As the level of Eircode collection, coverage and storage increases across data sources in the housing sector, it is expected that the precision of estimates on new dwelling completions can be further enhanced.

Student accommodation

There has been a significant level of construction output in the student accommodation sector. These are generally connected to the ESB Network as commercial connections and are therefore not included in the ESB domestic connections dataset and have also not been included in ESB connections released by DHPLG. The data available on this sector is on a “bed space” basis and it is not currently possible to report on it as dwellings, which are self-contained units of living accommodation. Based on consultation with stakeholders in this sector, student accommodation may be included in future New Dwelling Completions reports as a separate category. In Q4 2018, 817 bed spaces were completed in the student accommodation sector which brings the total completed since Q2 2016 to 6,348.

Just over three quarters of all new dwelling completions in urban areas in Q4 2018

The ESB domestic connections dataset provides information on the type of connection and whether it is in an urban or rural area. Figure 2 below shows that in Q4 2018, more than three quarters of all new dwelling completions (79.3%) are urban with 20.7% being in rural areas compared to Q4 2017 when 78.6% were urban and 21.4% rural. See Table 2.

UrbanRural
Q1 20161415564
Q2 20161663736
Q3 20161682813
Q4 20162136907
Q1 20172073705
Q2 20172423852
Q3 20172846941
Q4 20173590977
Q1 20182676799
Q2 20183436968
Q3 20183676995
Q4 201843791143

Dublin and Mid-East make up 60% of all new dwelling completions in Q4 2018

The number of new dwelling completions was highest in Dublin at 2,069 followed by 1,253 in the Mid-East. Together, Dublin and Mid-East made up 60% of all new dwelling completions Q4 2018. Outside of Dublin, there were six counties which had 100 or more new scheme dwellings in Q4 2018. These were Meath, Kildare, Louth, Wicklow, Waterford and Cork County. The highest number of single dwellings completed in Q4 2018 at a regional level was 222 in the South-West. Dublin had 592 new apartments built, three-quarters of all new apartments in Q4 2018. See Table 3.

'Dublin 15' the Eircode area with the most new dwelling completions in 2018

Figure 3 shows the number of new dwelling completions at Eircode Routing Key level for 2018. The Eircode area with the most new dwelling completions was D15 'Dublin 15' (799) followed by D24 'Dublin 24' (634) and A92 'Drogheda' (613). Eight out of the top ten Eircode Routing Keys with the most new dwelling completions are in Dublin and its commuter belt accounting for 26% of all new dwelling completions in 2018.

New dwelling completions and ESB connections

Domestic ESB connections in Q4 2018 totalled 6,729, an increase of 17.5% on Q4 2017. The ESB domestic connections series shows a comparable trend to the NDC series compiled by the CSO as shown in Figure 4. However, there is a significant difference in volume between the two series. The starting point for the NDC series is the ESB domestic connections dataset, with adjustments made to account for previously finished houses in unfinished housing developments (UFHDs), reconnections and non-dwellings as shown in Figure 5 and Table 4.

New dwelling completionsESB connections
Q1 201619793150
Q2 201623993486
Q3 201624953874
Q4 201630434413
Q1 201727783902
Q2 201732754566
Q3 201737874991
Q4 201745675726
Q1 201834754457
Q2 201844045460
Q3 201846715739
Q4 201855226729

UFHDs decline by 2.7% in Q4 2018

The number of previously finished dwellings in unfinished housing developments (UFHDs) dropped from 255 in Q4 2017 to 248 in Q4 2018, a decline of 2.7%. From the peak in Q3 2014 when 716 UFHDs were connected to the ESB Network, UFHDs have decreased by 65.4%. A property which is reconnected to the ESB Network after having been disconnected for more than two years, is assigned a new MPRN and is therefore included in the ESB connections datasets. These reconnections increased by 16.6% to stand at 718 in Q4 2018 compared with 616 in Q4 2017. The number of non-dwellings has decreased by 16.3% from Q4 2017 to Q4 2018. Overall, the number of new dwelling completions as a percentage of total ESB domestic connections has increased from 68% in 2011 to 80.7% in 2018 while UFHDs make up 3.5% of all ESB domestic connections in 2018 compared to 21.7% at the peak in 2014. Reconnections account for 11.6% of all ESB domestic connections compared to 22.9% at the peak in 2015. See Figure 5 and Table 4.

UFHDReconnectionNon-dwelling
Q1 2016495476200
Q2 2016359517211
Q3 2016556623200
Q4 2016430698242
Q1 2017358543223
Q2 2017410641240
Q3 2017308671225
Q4 2017255616288
Q1 2018202556224
Q2 2018177640239
Q3 2018167678223
Q4 2018248718241

Most reconnections and UFHDs outside of Dublin

Table 5 shows the type of ESB connection by NUTS3 region. Border (118) and West (110) regions show the highest number of reconnections. In Q4 2018, the Border region shows the highest number of UFHDs at 59. Dublin and the Mid-East combined make up 60% of all new dwelling completions in Q4 2018. Non-dwellings are highest in the Mid-West (46) and the South-West (38).

Average new dwelling size at its lowest since 2011

Figure 6 shows that the average new dwelling size fell by 4.9% in 2018. This continued the decline in the average new dwelling size index since its peak in 2012 which reflects the shift from single to scheme dwelling completions over the period (see Table 6). The average new dwelling size index is obtained by linking ESB connections to BER assessment data from the SEAI for new dwelling completions. The overall match rate has improved to stand at 60% in 2018. The match rate for single dwellings is lower than for scheme dwellings and apartments (see Table 7 in Background Notes and Methodology).

Index (2016 = 100)
2011114.967029592311
2012118.066078880592
2013117.675170423503
2014106.992133907812
2015103.616676265563
2016100
201792.0990563864871
201887.5576503946469

Semi-detached most frequent type of scheme dwelling 

Figure 7 shows a more detailed breakdown of scheme dwellings where they can be matched with a BER certificate. In 2011, 34% of all matched scheme dwellings are semi-detached rising to 49% in 2018. Detached scheme dwellings peaked in 2015 at 21% and stand at 12% in 2018. The mix between End of Terrace and Mid-Terrace scheme dwellings has remained stable in recent years.

DetachedSemi-DetachedMid-TerraceEnd of TerraceOther
201812.336468807438648.805276246080719.310195696832115.81792626229863.73013298734998
201715.526928874880150.705769494312717.500342606550613.78648759764292.48047142661368
201616.244444444444452.216.155555555555612.66666666666672.73333333333333
201517.84857828023351.353203151764314.696813977389512.47002398081533.63138060979788
201420.658489347966447.643641058747616.914138153647511.81407359586832.96965784377017
201316.266375545851535.480349344978225.76419213973814.19213973799138.29694323144105
201212.483399734395735.856573705179322.709163346613515.936254980079713.0146082337317
201111.446409989594234.339229968782525.91050988553599.3652445369406918.9386056191467
Table 1: New dwelling completions by type of dwelling, 2011 - 2018
Period SingleSchemeApartmentTotal
2011 4,8141,3588226,994
2012 3,5019644464,911
2013 2,9471,1554734,575
2014 2,9751,7957485,518
2015 3,2523,2946737,219
2016 3,6635,0841,1699,916
2017 4,2647,9162,22714,407
2018 4,69911,0012,37218,072
      
2011Q11,1564472721,875
2011Q21,1943802171,791
2011Q31,1973051851,687
2011Q41,2672261481,641
 Year4,8141,3588226,994
2012Q17972111231,131
2012Q2847194761,117
2012Q3868244931,205
2012Q49893151541,458
 Year3,5019644464,911
2013Q163817477889
2013Q27212811441,146
2013Q3727267391,033
2013Q48614332131,507
 Year2,9471,1554734,575
2014Q16253091601,094
2014Q27123652411,318
2014Q37285061701,404
2014Q49106151771,702
 Year2,9751,7957485,518
2015Q16596061061,371
2015Q27356741611,570
2015Q38798992552,033
2015Q497911151512,245
 Year3,2523,2946737,219
2016Q16989403411,979
2016Q28871,2602522,399
2016Q39801,2262892,495
2016Q41,0981,6582873,043
 Year3,6635,0841,1699,916
2017Q18721,4254812,778
2017Q21,0361,7844553,275
2017Q31,1292,0136453,787
2017Q41,2272,6946464,567
 Year4,2647,9162,22714,407
2018Q19732,0264763,475
2018Q21,1532,7644874,404
2018Q31,2082,8396244,671
2018Q41,3653,3727855,522
 Year4,69911,0012,37218,072
Table 2: New dwelling completions by urban-rural divide, 2011 - 2018
Period UrbanRuralTotal
2011Q18411,0331,874
2011Q27061,0811,787
2011Q36021,0851,687
2011Q44891,1521,641
 Year2,6384,3516,989
2012Q14157161,131
2012Q23687491,117
2012Q34257781,203
2012Q46028541,456
 Year1,8103,0974,907
2013Q1329560889
2013Q25346111,145
2013Q33986351,033
2013Q47747331,507
 Year2,0352,5394,574
2014Q15405541,094
2014Q27166021,318
2014Q37956091,404
2014Q49127901,702
 Year2,9632,5555,518
2015Q18325391,371
2015Q29526181,570
2015Q31,2817512,032
2015Q41,4208242,244
 Year4,4852,7327,217
2016Q11,4155641,979
2016Q21,6637362,399
2016Q31,6828132,495
2016Q42,1369073,043
 Year6,8963,0209,916
2017Q12,0737052,778
2017Q22,4238523,275
2017Q32,8469413,787
2017Q43,5909774,567
 Year10,9323,47514,407
2018Q12,6767993,475
2018Q23,4369684,404
2018Q33,6769954,671
2018Q44,3791,1435,522
 Year14,1673,90518,072
Table 3: New dwelling completions by type of dwelling and Local Authority, Q4 2018
Local AuthoritySingleSchemeApartmentTotal - Q4 2018Total - 2018
Border1838221286980
Cavan3115046159
Donegal824010132444
Leitrim7911766
Monaghan318039140
Sligo32101052171
West22111173391,148
Galway City433340139
Galway County115394158539
Mayo7321094312
Roscommon2918047158
Mid-West1551094268968
Clare4511056244
Limerick42913136516
Tipperary687176208
South-East171256444711,363
Carlow1580297229
Kilkenny59161388222
Waterford3510029164427
Wexford62600122485
South-West222358486282,166
Cork City86036104263
Cork County17025144251,508
Kerry4447899395
Dublin851,3925922,0696,924
Dublin City Council172643656461,843
Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown141831603571,287
Fingal33458565472,140
South Dublin21487115191,654
Mid-East2161,002351,2533,923
Louth4712415186602
Kildare4933113811,219
Meath8039954841,512
Wicklow4014814202590
Midlands1126234208600
Laois3613857241
Longford17712567
Offaly218837107
Westmeath38341789185
Note: Local Authority based on substation of dwelling where available
Table 4: ESB by type of connection, 2011 - 2018
Period NDCUFHDReconnectionNon-DwellingTotal
2011Q11,8753832412052,704
2011Q21,7913312242092,555
2011Q31,6873262991952,507
2011Q41,6413383262182,523
 Year6,9941,3781,09082710,289
2012Q11,1312783021791,890
2012Q21,1173572941961,964
2012Q31,2054312711632,070
2012Q41,4583853931852,421
 Year4,9111,4511,2607238,345
2013Q18893542801561,679
2013Q21,1463233471611,977
2013Q31,0333933921441,962
2013Q41,5074364541922,589
 Year4,5751,5061,4736538,207
2014Q11,0944223981652,079
2014Q21,3186275602152,720
2014Q31,4047166491632,932
2014Q41,7026036832103,198
 Year5,5182,3682,29075310,929
2015Q11,3713427421792,634
2015Q21,5704537462102,979
2015Q32,0333846701943,281
2015Q42,2454927302623,729
 Year7,2191,6712,88884512,623
2016Q11,9794954762003,150
2016Q22,3993595172113,486
2016Q32,4955566232003,874
2016Q43,0434306982424,413
 Year9,9161,8402,31485314,923
2017Q12,7783585432233,902
2017Q23,2754106412404,566
2017Q33,7873086712254,991
2017Q44,5672556162885,726
 Year14,4071,3312,47197619,185
2018Q13,4752025562244,457
2018Q24,4041776402395,460
2018Q34,6711676782235,739
2018Q45,5222487182416,729
 Year18,0727942,59292722,385
Table 5: ESB by type of connection and NUTS3, Q4 2018
RegionNew dwelling completionsUFHDReconnectionNon-DwellingTotal ESB connections
Border2865911833496
Dublin2,06927392,153
Mid-East1,2532077271,377
Midlands208206128317
Mid-West2684810946471
South-East471386725601
South-West6283710338806
West3392411035508
Note: NUTS3 region based on substation of dwelling where available   
Table 6: New dwelling completions by average dwelling size, 2011 - 2018
 20112012201320142015201620172018
Estimated weight in mix (%)
Single69%71%64%54%45%37%30%26%
Scheme19%20%25%33%46%51%55%61%
Apartment12%9%10%14%9%12%15%13%
 
Estimated average size of dwelling (sqm)
Single229231237219218230226212
Scheme109113126142138135129127
Apartment7268737685798182
         
Average dwelling size (sqm)187.6192.6192.0174.5169.0163.1150.2142.8
Average dwelling size index (2016 = 100)1151181181071041009288
% change 2.7%-0.3%-9.1%-3.2%-3.5%-7.9%-4.9%

Background Notes and Methodology

Scope and Background

The New Dwelling Completions series is produced by the CSO on a quarterly basis. A Housing Analytics Group (HAG) was established in 2017 by the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (DHPLG). This group, which met for the first time in May 2017, consists of representatives of bodies with a significant interest and role in housing, housing policy and related policy areas. 

The HAG focused on a review of housing related data published nationally and in particular on the number of dwellings built every year. Arising from the work of this group and other direct discussions between the CSO and DHPLG, a significant outcome was to assess the suitability of current housing indicators for estimating the number of new dwelling completions in Ireland.

Historically, the number of new dwellings built in Ireland, as published by the DHPLG, was based on the number of connections to the ESB Network. However, in recent years it became apparent that this series was overestimating the levels of new dwelling construction in Ireland. The New Dwelling Completions series will look to replace this and other available indicators of housing activity in Ireland. This series will include information on dwelling type, urban/rural location, activity by Local Authority and by Eircode Routing Key. It will continue to be based on domestic ESB connections but will correct for over-coverage by using additional information from ESB Networks and incorporating data from other sources. It also includes data on the number of reconnections and on houses from unfinished housing developments that are coming back into use. This will provide policy-makers with a valuable insight into the number of new dwellings available for occupation in the quarterly period concerned and also show data on the numbers of dwellings being constructed.

Geographic Split

The New Dwelling Completions data series is based on the number of new dwellings connected by the ESB Network to the electricity supply and may not accord precisely with Local Authority or Eircode Routing Key boundaries. The NDC series is split into counties and Eircode Routing Keys based on the information of the substation rather than the exact location of the dwelling. As Eircode becomes available as the unique identifier, it will replace the source of identifying the location of a new dwelling. 

The breakdown of ESB connections by type of connection and dwelling is based on NUTS3 regions as described below:

  • Border: Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Monaghan, Sligo
  • Dublin: all four local authorities within Dublin
  • Mid-East: Kildare, Louth, Meath, Wicklow
  • Midlands: Laois, Longford, Offaly, Westmeath
  • Mid-West: Clare, Limerick, Tipperary
  • South-East: Kilkenny, Waterford, Wexford
  • South-West: Cork City and County, Kerry
  • West: Galway City and County, Mayo, Roscommon

Classification

ESB connections are classified into four categories:

  • New dwelling completion: Recently constructed dwelling, where a dwelling is a self-contained unit of living accommodation.
  • Reconnection: A dwelling that has been reconnected to the ESB Network after a period of two years of disconnection.
  • UFHD: Connection to the ESB Network of previously completed dwellings in Unfinished/Ghost estates. A methodology was developed to identify houses which were complete in 2011 and were subsequently connected to the ESB Network. Although these dwellings may have required finishing to become available for use they are not new dwelling completions for the purposes of this publication. However, dwellings in Unfinished/Ghost estates which were not in a complete state in 2011 are included as new dwelling completions on connection to the ESB Network.
  • Non-dwelling: A building connected to the ESB Network through a domestic connection that is not constructed for residential use. 

The dwelling type is defined by the ESB Network and classified into three categories:

  • Single: If a single domestic dwelling or farm premises is to be connected to the ESB Network, Form NC21 must completed and the dwelling is defined as 'single'.
  • Scheme: If a new multi-unit development with two or more houses is to be connected to the ESB Network, Form NC12 must be completed and each dwelling is defined as 'scheme'. 
  • Apartment: If a new multi-unit development with two or more apartments is to be connected to the ESB Network, Form NC12 must be completed and each dwelling is defined as 'apartment'.

The classification of urban and rural dwellings is also defined by the ESB Network and based on the Distribution Use of System (DUoS) tariff, which is a fee that ESB Networks charge Electricity Suppliers for use of the Electricity Distribution System3

  • Urban: DUoS Group = DG1, urban domestic.
  • Rural: DUoS Group = DG2, rural domestic.

Coverage

Only domestic connections where a dwelling is a self-contained unit of living accommodation is included in the New Dwelling Completions series. Commercial properties, shared and communal living arrangements are excluded.

Revisions

The New Dwelling Completions series is a new statistical product compiled from third party data sources. The series will be revised on an ongoing basis as more timely and accurate data sources become available and these data sources can be matched to the ESB new connections data set.

Data sources

The primary data source used for the New Dwellings Completions series is the ESB domestic connections dataset where the date that the connection is energised determines the date of completion. It is accepted that the ESB domestic connections dataset overestimates new dwellings and the CSO has adjusted for this overcount by using additional information from the ESB and other data sources. The ESB domestic connections dataset is matched by the CSO to Building Energy Rating (BER) data, compiled by the Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland (SEAI). Under Statutory Instrument (S.I.) No. 243 of 2012, all residential property for sale must disclose their BER assessment (with some very minor exceptions). The BER includes detailed information on the type of dwelling, the type of certificate (Provisional, Final, Existing) as well as the date of assessment and construction. As the collection, storage and maintenance of Eircode improves, other data sources can be further consulted to improve on the accuracy of the series.

Average New Dwelling Size Index

The average new dwelling size index is based on measurements of the total floor area recorded by a BER Assessor in accordance with the BER Regulations, the BER Assessor's Code of Practice and all other directions issued by the SEAI4. As an MPRN, the unique identifier for an ESB connection, is required for the BER certification process it is possible to link new housing completions data to BER certificates to produce the index. The match rate between new dwelling completions and BER certificates is consistently highest among scheme dwellings. Table 7 shows the percentage of new dwelling completions that can be matched to a BER certificate by dwelling type and year. Between 2015 and 2017, nine out of ten scheme dwellings had a BER certificate compared to less than one in five single dwellings. The match rate for apartment has increased in recent years to stand at 67% in 2017 and 48% in 2018.

Table 7: New dwelling completions and BER match rate, 2011 - 2018
PeriodSingleSchemeApartmentTotal match rate
201113%71%44%28%
201212%78%28%27%
201313%79%43%33%
201413%86%51%42%
201517%89%25%51%
201619%89%50%58%
201717%92%67%66%
20188%84%48%60%

While the time lag between connection to the ESB Network and BER assessment can explain missing BER certificates, the data in Table 7 indicates that there are additional factors at play for single dwellings and apartments.

The low match rate for single dwellings is due to the large number of self builds where dwellings are not intended for sale or rent, similarly the low match rate for apartments can be explained by dwellings not intended for sale. These include conversions from single dwellings as well as social housing and developments in the build-to-rent sector. Such developments will often have a range of Provisional BER certificates or a partial number of BERs for the development without having a Final BER for all properties. 

1 Form NC2: https://www.esbnetworks.ie/docs/default-source/publications/connection-to-a-single-domestic-dwelling-or-farm-premises-application-(nc2)-05-06-18.pdf?sfvrsn=a75c33f0_16

2 Form NC1: https://www.esbnetworks.ie/docs/default-source/publications/multi-unit-development-application-(nc1)-05-06-18.pdf?sfvrsn=7e4433f0_14

3 Rules for Application of DUoS Tariff Group: https://www.esbnetworks.ie/docs/default-source/publications/rules-for-application-of-duos-tariff-group.pdf?sfvrsn=a44b33f0_4

4 BER Assessor Support: https://www.seai.ie/energy-in-business/ber-assessor-support/deap/ 

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