Construction companies completed 21,500 homes in the Republic of Ireland last year.
This was a 10-year high but below the level needed to meet future demand for housing, according to a report from stockbrokers Goodbody.
The report found that the 21,500 built was almost five times more than the 4,575 built at the recession’s lowest point in 2013.
The figure is below the 26,500 homes that the Central Bank estimated last month the Republic should build annually to 2030 to meet likely future demand.
The Goodbody BER Housebuilding Tracker shows that 6,600 homes were completed in the final three months of last year. The overall 2019 total of 21,500 was 19% ahead of the previous year.
Goodbody chief economist Dermot O’Leary said the Republic’s house building industry consisted of different parts.
“The build-to-rent sector is driving apartment building, while the public sector and approved-housing bodies are contributing to a surge in social housing,” he explained.
Mr O’Leary added that in the private sector, builders offering homes at lower prices were growing sales significantly.
Commuter counties surrounding Dublin, including Kildare and Wicklow, led the growth in new-home building.
That region, which the report dubs the “mid-east”, accounted for 5,316 new dwellings last year, a 36% increase on 2018.
Goodbody says that buyers are looking for properties in these counties as many cannot afford to buy in Dublin.
Growth in Dublin itself was just 2% but it still accounted for the biggest single share of all completions at 7,055.
Goodbody expects developers to build 24,000 new homes in the Republic this year, bringing the number of completions closer to the level of demand forecast by the Central Bank.