Ireland’s construction output grew 18 per cent last year and is expected to growing by a further 14 per cent this year, according to a new study.
The survey, by Aecom, says output value is expected to increase by a further 14 per cent to approximately €19.5bn (or £17.2bn) this year.
The Aecom Ireland Annual Review of the Construction Industry surveyed professionals in the construction and property sectors in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. It found that growth in construction output has been focused on the commercial and foreign direct investment sectors.
The residential sector, transportation and utilities have not kept up with the demands of a growing economy, says the report.
“Some big issues remain for Ireland’s construction industry, namely Brexit and its potential impact on new construction project demand, as well as the availability of resources and tender inflation,” said Aecom’s Head of Buildings and Places for the Republic of Ireland, John O’Regan.
“Despite those issues, the future looks promising. The positive news is that the opportunities for economic growth and increased foreign direct investment are great and dynamic approaches to addressing challenges are making a difference.”
Last year Dublin’s commercial market strengthened with developers and investors reporting strong demand for office accommodation as the economy continued to boom.
Several major commercial properties are still under construction, says the report. It said there was also evidence of increased construction activity beyond the Greater Dublin area. The residential sector, historically the key driver of output, is still struggling to adequately respond to Ireland’s housing shortage, says the report, although the number of starts increased in the first eight months of the year to 4,055 – a 25 per cent increase on the admittedly very low figure for the same period the year before in 2016.
The construction industry in Northern Ireland saw the value of its output rise by 11.6 per cent compared to the previous 12 months, said the report which predicted this year would be stable again this year.