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Value of new construction projects surges to €4.75bn

The value of building projects ongoing in Ireland has increased by two thirds in the last nine months to more than €4bn.

New data from the Building Information Index, which tracks building-related data, projects worth €4.25bn were being worked on around the country in the first nine months of this year.

That is an increase of more than €1.7bn compared to the same time in 2014.

More importantly, the report shows that the increase has not been confined to Dublin, with strong performances being seen across the country.

The value of projects in Munster has jumped 126pc, while Dublin activity is up by three quarters. Connacht and Ulster have seen activity values increase by a third while in Leinster construction is up 39pc.

“When we analyse project commencements in the first nine months of 2015 in each the seven sectors that the index compiles data for, commercial and retail continued to be the strongest performing sector at €830m which represented an increase of 99pc when compared to the same period in 2014,” said Building Information Ireland MD Danny O’Shea.

“Also experiencing a 99pc rise was the industrial sector, with a rise to €482m. In a sign of growing confidence in the residential sector, commencements almost doubled with a rise of 98pc to a value of €2.1bn,” he said.

It is clear from the data that new projects are coming almost entirely from the private sector

Projects funded exclusively by the exchequer in areas such as education show a continued drop in project commencements with a fall of 7pc to €211m. This is also mirrored in the social sector with a drop of 12pc to €196m.

On the other side, private sector investment in agriculture has seen a 33pc rise to €84m and projects in the medical sector also rose by 12pc to €354m.

While the value of projects that have been started has risen sharply, there has also been a 26pc increase in the value of projects that have applied for planning permission. The index estimated they are worth €11.27bn at present.

“The data clearly shows that the private sector is driving growth in the construction industry,” said Mr O’Shea.

“Only 11pc of the value of these projects in the planning process relate to public funding.

“A total of €10.1bn of the projects are privately funded, which is a figure that many in the industry will find surprising. It is important to note that this 89pc figure does not include small residential extensions, one-off homes and other minor works and is, therefore, a conservatively low figure.”

While the housing shortage continues, the index shows that the value of residential projects that have commenced construction has almost doubled year on year.

When complete, these entire projects would yield a total of 11,795 individual housing units, with a construction value of approximately €2.1bn, claimed the index.

On average, it takes 71 weeks to go from planning permission to starting construction.

Source: Independent, 2015.

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