There will be 16,500 new homes built this year and 19,500 new units in 2021, according to forecasts by Goodbody chief economist Dermot O’Leary.
The new forecasts are up from the 14,00 and 16,000 completions the broker made in earlier projections but remain far short of the 35,000 new builds required to meet demand, it said.
There was a 33% drop in the number of house completions in the second quarter from a year earlier.
“Although this represents the largest annual decline in housebuilding in eight years, it is ahead of our expectations, and suggest that housing output has rebounded somewhat after construction sites reopened in the middle of May,” Mr O’Leary said.
“We still expect housing completions to fall substantially this year – by 20% year-on-year – but are revising up our estimate to 16,500 from 14,000. For 2021, we now expect 19,5000 completions, previously 16,000,” the broker said.
Mr O’Leary said that housing starts were falling which “suggests that builders are focusing on completing existing sites and suggests that the pandemic will have longer-lasting impacts on output levels beyond 2020”.
Boosting construction to reach the estimated demand levels for around 35,000 new homes each year “will take even longer”.