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Revealed: How many new homes are sold each month – and where the hotspots are

Just over 450 new homes are being sold every month as the lack of supply fuels price hikes.

An analysis of figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) shows that since the beginning of 2015, just over 15,000 new homes have traded hands – despite Department of Housing new-home completion figures suggesting the number should be far higher.
The data also shows that investors are buying one-in-eight new houses and apartments, rising to more than 40pc of available stock in some areas of high demand.

It also shows that in Dublin, homes are not being built close to the city centre despite policies in place to prevent urban sprawl, with builders focusing their efforts primarily in Dublin 15 and Dublin 24, and in upmarket parts of the capital including Sutton, Howth, Foxrock and Malahide.

The figures come as house prices continue to soar, with the latest data suggesting hikes of almost 13pc in the year to date.

The lack of supply is restricting people’s ability to move, with some 110,000 people ready and willing to buy a home, but the chronic shortage of properties is preventing them from doing so.

But it also highlights problems around accurate data on house completions.

Figures from the Department of Housing show that between January 2015 and August this year, a total of 22,951 new homes have been completed, or connected to the ESB network. This excludes one-off units.
However, the CSO data suggests that many of these units are “missing”, or are not making it to the market.

Acknowledging there was an issue with accurate data, the Department of Housing said the CSO figures on new home sales did not reflect units that were built to rent, nor homes in unfinished developments which were only recently connected to the ESB network, which it uses as a proxy for completions.

“The department has acknowledged for some months that there are some valid criticisms of the use of ESB connections as a proxy for housing completions and no longer refers to them as such,” a spokesperson said.
They added it had provided a “much more detailed dataset” around ESB connections to the CSO, which would be used to “better isolate and estimate the number of new builds”.

The CSO would require a period of time to analyse the data, before developing a new methodology for estimating new builds.
The figures are based on the number of homes sold, broken down by postcode, for the 33 months beginning January 2015.

They show:
A total of 15,003 new houses and apartments have traded hands;
Just over 12pc have been bought by investors, 38pc by first-time buyers, and the remainder by people trading up;
Of the 139 postcodes analysed, fewer than 10 new homes were sold in 89 areas, including Dublin 10 and Dublin 17. No new homes were sold in Oldtown in north Dublin;
In nine areas where 10 or more units were sold, more than 40pc were bought by investors. This includes Birr in Offaly (61pc of the total), Kilrush in Clare (58pc), Dublin 4 (55pc) and Dublin 2 (43pc)
They ‘sales of new homes (since January 2015)’ hotspots are also revealed as:

Dublin 15 (1,066)
Naas, Co Kildare (514)
Celbridge, Co Kildare (512)
Dublin 13 (489)
Dublin 24 (456)
… while the bottom five locations are:

Oldtown, Co Dublin (0)
Clones, Co Monaghan (1)
Garristown, Co Meath (1)
Crookstown, Co Cork (1)
Shannon, Co Clare (1)
Housing expert at DIT Dr Lorcan Sirr said the figures showed how high-end homes were being completed, and that the figures represented “another hole” in the Department of Housing’s numbers.

While the State needed to build at least 25,000 units a year to meet demand, those targets have not been met over recent years.

“In the last four years, new homes have become more expensive.

“The ones coming on (to the market) are not affordable. The high-end stuff gets finished,” he said.
“Developers aren’t going to build houses and sit on them. For every year you don’t meet your target, it’s added on to other years.

“Our numbers are all over the place.”

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