A total of 32,695 new homes were completed last year, up 10% on a year earlier, new data from the Central Statistics Office shows.
It follows the completion of 10,289 dwellings in the final three months of the year, an increase of 13% on the same quarter in 2022.
The completion rate for 2023 exceeds the Government’s target for the year of 29,000.
Under its Housing for All plan, the Government aims to have 33,000 new homes provided each year on average from 2021 to 2030.
The CSO statistics show there was a big jump in the number of apartments finished in the year, up 28% on the year before to 11,642.
Scheme dwelling completions hit 15,505 during the 12 months, up 2.4% on the previous year, while 5,548 single dwellings were also completed, up just 0.9% on the year before.
Overall, just under half of the total housing output was made up of dwellings located in schemes.
A little over a third were apartments, while 17% were one-off homes.
“Analysis of the data shows that the proportion of apartments being built has been rising over recent years from 16.4% of completions in 2019 to 35.6% in 2023,” CSO statistician Steven Conroy said.
“For Q4 2023, there was a 1.5% fall in scheme dwellings completions and a 1.8% decrease in single dwellings completions from Q4 2022, while there was a 46.5% rise in apartments,” he added.
Dublin and mid-east dominated the total number of completions, with six in every ten located in the county or its surrounds during the course of 2023.
“Five regions (Dublin, Midlands, West, South-West and South-East) of Ireland saw an increase in new dwelling completions from 2022 to 2023 with the highest growth in the Midlands at 32.3%,” Mr Conroy said.
“From Q4 2022 to Q4 2023 the number of new dwelling completions rose in Dublin, the Midlands, the Mid-West, and the South-East, ranging from a 24.4% fall in the Border region to a 78.4% growth in the Midlands,” he added.
New dwelling completions are measured by new connections to the electricity network.
The number of completions in urban areas last year was 28,137, a rise of 12.6% from 2022.
In rural areas, there was a decrease of 3.7% to 4,558.
Of all completions in 2023, 86.1% were in urban areas.
The data also shows that the average new dwelling size is continuing to fall gradually.
The decrease is caused by both an increase in the proportion of completed dwellings being apartments and a decrease in the size of single and scheme dwellings, the CSO said.
The confirmation that completions rose last year has been welcomed by analysts and industry figures.
“This is good news for prospective buyers as ultimately more supply will make more homes available to them, while also keeping house price inflation in check,” said Ian Lawlor, managing director of Lotus Investment Group, which lends to developers.
“Given that the annual rate of national house price growth has increased in recent months, it is imperative that more supply continues to come on board.”
The Irish Homebuilders Association said recent Government initiatives such as the Development Charges Waiver and Water Connection Rebate schemes, Project Tosaigh, Croi Conaithe and the ongoing Help to Buy and First Home Scheme are playing a crucial role in driving house building increases.
“It is vital that these continue, so that we can build more homes for sale, build more cost rental and affordable housing, as well more social housing,” said Conor O’Connell, Director of Irish Home Builders Association and Director of Housing and Planning in the Construction Industry Federation.
“Members of Irish Home Builders Association are committed to building on this positive momentum. It is critical that an upward trend in housing commencements and completions continues in the months ahead at this time of urgent housing need.”