THERE was an increase of almost 20% in the number of houses built in Laois last year, which finds the county bucking the national trend with the Construction Industry Federation (CIF) reporting a drop across the State during 2012.
New figures reveal that 226 new houses were completed in Laois during the January to November period last year, an increase of 19% or 36 houses compared to the same period in 2011 when a total of 190 housing units were completed.
The increase in the rate of house building in Laois was in contrast with the national trend. Nationally there was a 20.4% drop in house building for the January to November period. 7,662 houses were completed up to the end of November 2012 but the year before had seen 9,630 houses finished. This marked a drop of 1,968 house completions.
CIF director general Tom Parlon said: “It was another difficult year for builders in Laois and throughout the country. Nationally 2012 was the worst year on record for the level of new housing units built... We still have an oversupply of housing in certain parts of the country,” he concluded.
The news comes in the wake of a recent report by Daft.ie, which revealed that Laois is among the bottom three counties in the State for house prices.
In last week’s Leinster Express, we reported that the average house price in Laois is now €103,000, which is a whopping 58% below national peak levels. The findings by Daft show that the average asking price for a one-bedroom house in Laois last year was €43,381, a two-bedroom house was €56,785, a three-bedroom was €69,003, four-bedroom was €102,576 and a five-bedroom house was around €124,722.
These prices were 13% lower than the previous year, although this represented a slight improvement on 2011 when property value dropped by 20%.