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Increased housing supply expected in 2024 but affordability issues remain as construction costs continue to rise – BPFI Housing Market Monitor

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Increased housing supply expected in 2024 but affordability issues remain as construction costs continue to rise – BPFI Housing Market Monitor

Increased housing supply expected in 2024 but affordability issues remain as construction costs continue to rise – BPFI Housing Market Monitor
December 21
12:35 2023

The latest Housing Market Monitor Q3 2023 published by Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) shows that while Ireland’s housing supply is expected to increase in 2024, affordability issues remain as construction costs continue to rise.

Increase of 17% in housing starts points to healthy pipeline for completions in 2024

Outlining the key findings from the monitor, Brian Hayes, Chief Executive of BPFI, stated: “In 2023 we saw a significant increase in housing completions with almost 31,600 new dwellings completed in the twelve months ending September 2023, up from about 27,500 in the twelve months previous. It is also encouraging to see that the number of housing starts continues to rise, with a 17% increase in housing starts in the first ten months of 2023 compared to the same period of 2022. This points to a healthy pipeline for the level of completions in 2024 which is likely to exceed 32,000 units.”

Mortgage activity has remained resilient despite cost-of-living challenges and uncertainties

“Looking at mortgage activity, at the beginning of the year, it was expected that housing and mortgage demand could be negatively affected in 2023 due to the fall in the purchasing power of households caused by higher housing and general living costs, as well as the future uncertainty in the wider economy. However, mortgage activity has remained resilient with mortgage approval values reaching €14.7 billion in the twelve months ending October 2023 with nearly 52,000 approvals. While draw-down volumes declined by 22% year on year in Q3 2023, this was mainly due to the significant decline in switching activity and in fact, first-time buyers drew down over 7,000 mortgages during Q3 2023, the highest Q3 volume since 2007.”

Increases in construction costs risk further affordability issues as home prices increase faster than incomes

Brian Hayes concluded: “While the increase in housing output has helped to moderate average annual housing price inflation with average residential property prices increasing by 1.4% in the 12 months to September 2023 compared with 10.8% annual increase in September 2022, construction costs in Ireland have increased by nearly 23% between the end of 2019 and the third quarter of 2023. Given that average home prices have increased faster than the incomes of potential home buyers in the past few years, looking forward, it will be important to monitor cost challenges in the sector while building more homes so that better affordability can be provided for potential home buyers.”

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