Number of new homes built has slowed as lack of infrastructure investment hits
Growth in the number of new homes in Northern Ireland is stalling, slowed by the underfunding of water infrastructure according to the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) Northern Ireland.
Justin Cartwright, CIH Northern Ireland national director was responding to new statistics released today by the Department for Communities. The department’s Northern Ireland housing bulletin shows the number of new dwellings started over the July – September quarter was 1,922. This is a 14 per cent decrease on the same quarter last year.
Also released today was the earlier performance over April – June that shows a 28 per cent drop on the previous year.
Justin said: “This is concerning news – for some time we’ve seen steady growth in the number of new homes built each year, driven by the recovery of private sector development. Today’s figures show a disappointing couple of quarters over the spring and summer, dropping back to a level of activity seen four years ago.
“Official estimates suggest Northern Ireland needs around 7,200 homes each year to keep up with things like population growth and demolition of older housing. This is a conservative figure, but one that we’re now on course to miss this financial year which could impact on prices.
“One thing that is beginning to hit housebuilding is the lack of investment in new wastewater infrastructure. No housebuilding can be carried out in areas where sewage treatment works are at capacity, and without greater investment the issue will only get worse.
“The lack of this infrastructure that enables new housing developments is worrying – we need an Executive back to ensure that Northern Ireland Water is adequately funded.”