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Jun 14 2018, 12:30 IST/BST
The publication by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) of a new housing completions series brings much-needed clarity to the debate on the level of housebuilding in Ireland. The number of new completions was 14,446 in 2017, a 46% increase on 2016. This compares to the 19,271 electricity connections captured by the Department of Housing series but which included existing dwellings reconnected to the grid and non-residential units. Although the new series is not perfect and may well be revised as new data sources are added, it reflects more accurately the true level of construction activity. The bigger picture is that housebuilding is still well below the current minimum demand of 35,000 units per annum.