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Irish Housing Hits an All Time High

In delivering the Department of the Environment and Local Government’s 2002 Annual Housing Statistics Bulletin, Minster for Housing, Mr. Noel Ahern announced that the number of new houses built had reached an all time high. In 2002, 57,695 new houses were built, an increase on 2001 when 52,602 were built, representing an increase of 9.7%.

The new record comes despite less favourable economic conditions for the housing industry and marks the eighth straight year of growth. Housing growth has been boosted by government support and local authority and voluntary housing programmes.

Statistics indicate that the current housing construction rate stands at 14.7 houses per 1000 people, which is the highest in Europe.

The Greater Dublin Area experienced growth above that country, with 20,675 houses being built, up 25.3% on the 2001 figures. Dublin also was subject to significant growth 12,623 houses being built in 2002, an increase of 31.4% over the previous year.

Voluntary and Co-Operative housing sectors completed 1,360 homes, up 8.5% on 2001 numbers.

There has also been a significant rise in the number of affordable homes made available. . “The full range of social and affordable housing programmes met the needs of over 12,700 households in 2002”, the minister said. Local authorities have made substantial investments in social housing recently, with spending in this area being about 15% ahead of that forecast under the National Development Plan.695 million Euros will be made available to local governments to increase house starts in 2003.

The Irish government has placed a priority on the provision of housing. With almost 250,000 homes being built since 1998, the inflation in house prices has been brought back from 40% to about 8% in 2002.

Source: Department of the Environment and Local Government, Ireland.

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