Number of new homes granted planning permission up 38% in first quarter

It was the third consecutive quarter where more houses than apartments got the green light

The number of new homes that got the green light from planning authorities in the State increased by 38 per cent in the first quarter of 2023 compared with the same period last year, new data from the Central Statistics Office shows.

The increase came even though the of number of planning applications approved for new homes actually fell by 29 per cent. This was because a single planning application can cover any number of single units if it is for a multi-development scheme.

Planning permissions covering a total of 11,659 homes were approved from January to March, up from 8,463 units in the first three months of last year.

Houses accounted for 53 per cent of these, while apartments covered the rest. It was the third consecutive quarter where more houses than apartments have been granted planning permission.


The number of houses granted planning permission was up by 31 per cent on an annual basis, while apartment approvals rose by 46 per cent.

The rise in new house approvals was driven by applications for multi-development units, which soared 81 per cent. This was compared to a drop of almost 32 per cent in approvals for one-off houses.

In total there were 6,042 planning permissions granted for all developments. This represented an annual drop of 22 per cent compared to last year’s figure of 7,742.

Of the 6,042 planning permissions granted in the first three months of this year, 1,734 were for new homes, of which 1,420 were one-off houses, 182 were apartments, 124 were multi-development houses, and eight were communal dwellings.

In addition, there were 1,782 applications granted for other new constructions; 1,616 for extensions; and 910 for alterations and conversions. All of these types of applications were down on last year.

Overall there were 5,513 new apartments granted planning permission in the quarter. Dublin’s 84 per cent share was followed by the mideast region with 6.2 per cent and the southwest region with 2.5 per cent.

Outside Dublin the highest numbers of apartments granted planning permissions were in counties Kildare and Meath. Counties Roscommon and Sligo did not grant any planning permissions for apartments during the quarter.

Some 6,146 new houses were granted planning permission in the quarter. Dublin had the highest proportion with 44.3 per cent. It was followed by the southwest region with 10.6 per cent and the southeast region with 10.3 per cent.

There was an annual increase of 112.8 per cent in the total number of Strategic Housing Development (SHD) homes approved. The scheme allows applications of at least 100 residential units or more than 200 student bed spaces to be made directly to An Bord Pleanála.

There was an annual increase of 242.6 per cent in the number of houses approved under the scheme, compared with 78.1 per cent of SHD apartments approved. Just over 48 per cent of all planning permissions were granted under the SHD process.

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson is an Irish Times reporter