Building work began on 32,801 new homes last year, the highest number on record, new data shows.
The figure for commencement notices lodged in 2023 compares to 26,957 in 2022, an increase of 21.5%.
It follows a strong end to the year, where the number of commencement notices filed in December rose 76% compared to the same month in 2022, to 3,167.
“These impressive figures indicate that supply, which is key to addressing our housing needs, continues to increase and that a robust stock of new housing is in the pipeline,” said Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien.
“The Government initiatives which we introduced last year such as the development levy waiver and the Irish Water rebate are clearly having a positive impact of the viability of projects.”
“Combined with the supports for First-Time Buyers such as Help-to-Buy and the First Home Scheme we can really see momentum building.”
The area with the largest number of commencement notices lodged last year was Dublin City, where 5,000 were submitted, up from 3,061 in 2022.
3,575 were submitted in South Dublin County, while 2,742 were filed in Fingal.
The busiest month of the year for commencement notices was March, when 3,244 were submitted.
Earlier this week, stockbroker Goodbody said it expects that housing completions last year will hit its forecast of around 35,000.
Goodbody chief economist, Dermot O’Leary, said the 2023 outturn is surprising in the context of concerns around the prospects for the apartment sector due to the weakness of the Private Rental Sector (PRS) in an era of higher interest rates.
He said new apartment commencements defied these expectations last year, growing by 27% year on year to 13,000 units.
He added that the increased involvement of public sector entities like approved housing bodies and the Land Development Agency played an important role in getting these projects off the ground as demand for investment in the private rented sector waned.
Mr O’Leary’s analysis also found that scheme housing also experienced a substantial increase in commencements, up around 29% year on year.
Dublin was the biggest contributor to this, up 92%, but surprisingly, commuter counties around the capital experienced a reduction in scheme housing commencements last year.