5,377 Versus 14,931


A construction site in Dublin last month

Charlie Taylor, in The Irish Times, reports:

Housebuilding activity in Ireland is “substantially below” what official data suggests, according to a new report casting further doubt on the accuracy of Government figures.

Based on building energy ratings, the Goodbody BER housebuilding tracker shows 5,377 houses were completed in 2016. This compares to 14,932 completions indicated by official data, which derives from electricity connections.

Housebuilding rate is ‘well below official figure’ (Charlie Taylor, The Irish Times)

Previously: If You Want To Solve A Problem…

24 thoughts on “5,377 Versus 14,931

  1. God IV

    I’ll take one for the team.
    I am saying Leo, et al, are LIARS. Big fat fupping pants on fire LIARS. None of yer piddly bum-based little white lies. Big. Fupping. Liars.

  2. Cian

    Is it within the government’s remit to count the number of houses built?
    If not, al they can do is produce an estimate. They use the ESB connection as a proxy for new houses – they don’t hide this fact. If you look at the website: http://www.housing.gov.ie/housing/statistics/house-building-and-private-rented/construction-activity-esb-connections
    Construction activity – ESB Connections
    This dataset of new electricity connections which are recorded every month by ESB Networks has been used as a proxy for house completions for many years, as it represents the best available indicator that a residential unit is becoming available for occupation. It measures the number of homes connected to the electricity grid and thus becoming available for use.[…]

    Goodbody are arguing that ‘new’ means a new construction.
    Both numbers are (probably) correct. Goodbody’s for the number of new builds, ESB for number of new homes.


      Sure, & when a farmer re-connects an old hay barn to the network Leo considers that another person homed.

      1. Cian

        I don’t know what Leo considers or not. Even if someone builds a new house, and gets a BER cert, and connects ESB – there is no guarantee that it will be used to home someone.

        At the moment there is no requirement on builders/individuals to register new-builds with any State department. So the State doesn’t actually know how many new builds there are each year. So they go to ESB and get an approximate. They are up-front about this.

        Do you want the government to introduce legislation that makes reporting new builds/removal of old homes mandatory? And for them to spend money (to either hire or redeploy existing civil servants) to monitor and maintain this information? To pay more to enforce these new laws?
        If so, you should contact your local TD and let them know you want to live in an even bigger Nanny State.

        1. Ian Sultan (National Intelligence)

          “Do you want the government to introduce legislation that makes reporting new builds mandatory?”

          Eh, isn’t that called planning permission?

          1. Cian

            No. Planning permission is asking if you can build. But you have (AFAIK) 5 years to start the build.
            Many people get planning permission and then don’t build.

          2. Ian Sultan (National Intelligence)

            Leaving out the last tiniest hurdle of the lengthy planning permission process does not sound very wise to me, ie ‘you’re obliged to let us know when you finish the build’

            asking for information important to the efficient running of a country doesn’t sound like treating people like children to me, at all

      2. Cian

        Jimmy, according to the ESB (linked above) – there numbers are divided by house type:
        from 1994-2004 the types are “Bungalow”, “House Detached”, “House Semi-D”, “House Terraced”, “Flat / Apartment”
        From 2005 it’s “Individual House”, “Scheme House”, “Apartments”

        No, it doesn’t include when a “farmer re-connects an old hay barn to the network “

    2. Increasing Displacement

      Ridiculous method.

      Imagine a private business running it’s affairs that way, unthinkable

  3. Pat Harding

    C’mon the Irish property market is a complete racket.

    As P.T. Barnum once said ‘There’s a sucker born every minute’ If you buy into the Irish property market which obviously is being manipulated then you are by Barnum’s definition a sucker.

    1. Brother Barnabas

      Whether purchasing or renting, you’re still getting involved in the Irish property market. And if you want somewhere to live, you’ve no option other than to do one or the other. This the sort of situation that requires state intervention. Will it happen?

  4. Blonto

    Imagine for a minute that county councils sent out building inspectors to make sure builders were following the rules. At the end of the build they sign off on it and add that address to the list of new builds.
    Imagine also how many dodgy builds might have been prevented.
    In another 20 years or so, there will be another major housing crisis as all the poorly built boom houses are being sold to a new generation of buyers. They’d better do their homework and avoid the shoddy builds!!!!

    1. Cian

      This should be done. But to ensure standards rather than counting houses. But if the latter is a side effect I’m all for it

  5. phil

    Suppose there will be no need to ask the minister to resign? Accountability is for other jurisdictions….

    1. Cian

      Why would the minister resign (specifically over this count issue)?
      The department has been using this method of counting for years, and one advantage is that it is consistent. You can see the trends over years – which is important.

  6. realPolithicks

    It’s called “smoke and mirrors”, they don’t want you to know how few homes are being built so they just pull a number out of their rear end and leave you to figure out whether it accurate or not.

    1. Nollaig

      yep. need to take no. of new build stats from Dept. of housing, who manipulate them to suit their agenda, and give em to independent CSO

  7. GiggidyGoo

    No wonder the Gardai feel comfortable doctoring the numbers. It comes from above the top of the Garda Siochana.

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