Irish housing output to decline

Published:  20 January, 2010

DUBLIN: Housing output in Ireland will continue to decline through 2011 as the country works through a glut of properties built during the construction boom, Goodbody Stockbrokers said.

House completions will probably decline to 12 000 this year and could fall below 10 000 in 2011, Dermot O'Leary, chief economist at Dublin-based Goodbody, said in a report yesterday.

Output fell by 48pc to 26,820 units last year, he said. Builders completed about 90 000 units in 2006.

"Tighter credit conditions continue to be an issue for both developers and potential homeowners, but there is also a need to curtail new supply until the vacant housing stock is reduced," Mr O'Leary said.

Latest data from Ulster Bank also shows that the decline of the Republic's building industry continued in the closing month of 2009.

Irish government figures also show that sales in sectors linked to the construction industry continued to see big declines. The Central Statistics Office found the slump in sales of household goods persisted in November, with apprehension about the Budget ensuring consumers kept their money in their pockets. The latest figures show the volume of retail sales fell by 8.2% compared with the same time in 2008.

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