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CSO figures show that more apartments than houses were built in Ireland last year

DUBLIN: More apartments than homes were built in Ireland last year, according to Central Statistics Office (CSO). The revelation comes as the latest CSO figures show that more apartments than homes were given planning permission in 2020.

It says that in 2020 the planning permits issued for houses dropped annually for the second year in a row. Last year, a total of 18,314 planning permissions were issued for houses. In 2019, the figure was 19,651-a decrease of 6.8%.

At the same time, 26,224 planning permissions for apartments were issued last year. This is the highest number since 2005 and a rise of 33.9% compared to 2019.

The CSO said permissions were issued for 44,538 homes and apartments in 2020, compared to 39,242 homes in 2019, an increase of 13.5%. 

However, overall, the total number of planning permissions, including for extensions, dropped to 25,597 in 2020, down by 8.2%. Of these, 26% were permits for new dwellings, 31% for other new constructions and 43% for extensions, alterations and transformations, the CSO said.

Since 2017, the floor area granted for extensions has been gradually decreasing.

Planning permissions for 819,000 square metres of extensions were given last year, compared to 925,000 square metres in 2019.

Meanwhile, the CSO said that 76.2% of the apartments given planning permission in 2020 were through Strategic Housing Development (SHD) applications. To be clear, 5,910 new homes and 19,989 new apartment units were given permissions via SHD applications in 2020. The advantage of this is that applications for the development of at least 100 residential units or more than 200 student bed spaces can be made directly to An Bord Pleanála.

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