The number of planning permissions for new homes granted last year rose only slightly, according to official figures, with a big increase in apartment permits partly offset by a drop in the number of houses granted approval.
The Central Statistics Office said that permissions for almost 26,300 apartments were granted last year, compared with 16,700 houses.
In 2020, for the first time, more apartments than houses were granted planning permission, a trend that continued in 2021.
Total planning permissions of just under 43,000 represented an increase of 1.5% from 2020.
The apartment figure represented a 6.5% increase from 2020, but the number of houses approved fell by 5.6% – the third annual drop in a row.
More than 70% of the apartments were granted permission through Strategic Housing Development (SHD) applications. This is where applications for developments of at least 100 residential units, or 200-plus student bed spaces, can be made directly to An Bord Pleanála.
The Government last year announced plans to replace this system.
In 2021, the region with the highest number of apartment units granted planning permission was Dublin (18,908). The county with the most houses granted approval was Cork (2,189).
The CSO figures show that, while the number of houses granted planning permission as part of schemes declined by more than 25% last year, approvals for one-off houses jumped by more than 40%.
Just under 7,500 one-off houses were given planning permission – the highest figure since 2009.
The figures show, however, a pick-up in approvals in the final quarter of 2021, with permissions for all homes up more than 40% compared with a year earlier to 13,450. The number of apartments approved jumped by 59% to just over 8,100, while houses rose almost 21% to 5,300.