Close to 40,000 new homes will be delivered this year, says Harris

Extension to waiver on development levies and water-connection rebates is announced

The number of new homes delivered this year will be close to 40,000, Taoiseach Simon Harris has said, as the Government approved the extension of the waiver on development levies.

Under the Coalition’s Housing For All plan, a target of 34,500 new homes for 2024 has been set.

“This year we are likely to be closer to 40,000 homes than 30,000. It will be on the upper end rather than the lower end of that range,” Mr Harris said at a press conference on Wednesday morning.

New housing targets for the coming years will be announced in the summer, with more detail on the types of houses – such as social and affordable – due to be revealed in the autumn. Mr Harris said in his view “to not lift our scale of ambition would be very underwhelming for people living in box rooms” across the country.


“We know we need to work to raise our level of ambition in relation to targets in the years ahead because we do have a rapidly growing population.”

Mr Harris said the 250,000 new homes by 2030 figure, which he first promised in his first Fine Gael national conference speech, is the “ballpark figure” he expects to see delivered.

Ministers have also approved an extension of the waiver for development levies and water connection charge rebates.

Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien said that “without question, the development contribution waiver and Uisce Éireann connection rebate scheme has led to a surge in new home starts and provided a much needed jolt to our supply pipeline, with building starting on 11,956 new homes in the first three months of the year alone, which is a 63 per cent increase compared to the same period in 2023 and a record first quarter.”

“The temporary time-limited nature of the waiver and refund schemes has undoubtedly been a principal factor in influencing the speedier activation of planning permissions by developers since they were introduced last year, including planning permissions that have been granted for a number of years and were not activated.”

The water connection rebate has been extended to the beginning of October, while the development contribution waiver has been extended until the end of this year.

Asked about housing targets, and the Government’s progress on social housing in particular, Mr O’Brien said there are 26,000 social homes in the pipeline. The Government’s 2023 target for new-build social homes was 9,100 new builds. Final figures for the year show that 8,110 new-build homes were delivered.

In the first 12 weeks of this year, some 12,000 homes started construction.

Tánaiste Micheál Martin said that since its unveiling in July 2022, over 4,000 individuals and couples have availed of the First Home Scheme. “There were over 800 approvals in quarter one, up almost 40 per cent compared to the same three months last year. In addition, the Help to Buy Scheme supported almost 2,000 to buy their first home in the first three months of this year.”

The Help to Buy Scheme allows a buyer or buyers to claim back up to 10 per cent of the value of the property or €30,000 – whichever is the lower figure – from tax that they have paid over the previous four years.

Under the First Home Scheme, the Government will take a 20 per cent stake in the house if the buyer is also availing of the Help to Buy scheme, or 30 per cent if Help to Buy is not used.

On vacancy and renovation, Green Party leader Eamon Ryan said there have been 4,300 applications for the vacant property refurbishment grants. The most recently published data shows some 265 grants have been paid to applicants.

Jennifer Bray

Jennifer Bray

Jennifer Bray is a Political Correspondent with The Irish Times