Decrease in number of new house completions

There has been a significant decrease in the number of new home completions this year, according to new figures published by the Central Statistics Office. In total, 230 new homes were completed in Westmeath during the first nine months of 2023, a 30pc decrease on the 312 in that period of 2022.

In each quarter of 2023, the number of new builds completed in Westmeath was down on 2022. Quarter three was the busiest (113 completions), though that is significantly fewer than Q3 in 2022, when the figure was 151. It was the same in Q2 (63 in 2023 and 92 last year) and Q1 (54 this year and 69 in 2022).

While there was a marked drop locally, at a national level, 22,443 new builds were completed in the first three quarters of 2023, a year on year increase of nine per cent.

Referring to the rise in the overall figure nationally, Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien said it points to positive signs that strong momentum in housebuilding is continuing.

“Supply is central to dealing with all the key challenges in housing. All the key indicators are trending upwards. Nationally, the number of planning permissions for the first nine months of this year were up. In the same period, the number of new build homes commenced was almost 24,000 homes – a 14.3% increase on the same period last year. And now, the latest CSO figures on completions show that countrywide, supply is increasing and that we are going in the right direction.”

The government’s housing target for 2023 is 29,000 new homes and the minister believes “we will meet this target – if not exceed it”.

“All of this momentum is welcome but we are not complacent. I have always said there is no one single magic bullet to solve the housing crisis but rather a variety of complementary initiatives and reforms. Whether it’s planning reforms, new supports for prospective home buyers, cost rental and other initiatives for tenants or incentives to encourage more construction, this government leave no stone unturned to deliver on our targets under Housing for All.”