The total number of new dwelling starts in Northern Ireland was 1,533, an increase of 4% on the same quarter in 2015. This exceeded the government’s target of 1,500 new homes – a target which has now been increased to 2,000 in 2016/17.
The total number of new dwelling completions for January – March 2016 was 1,439, an increase of 29% on the same quarter in 2015, according to the Northern Ireland Housing Bulletin January – March 2016.
Nicola McCrudden, Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) director for Northern Ireland, said, “The latest figures give us some very welcome signs but we cannot be complacent – we still need to build more.
“This steady growth in the number of new homes is promising but we can’t lose sight of the bigger picture and we are still not building anywhere near the level we need to.
“In 2015/16 there were 6,716 new homes started – we need to build over 11,000 homes every year just to keep up with population growth and household change. A lack of housing supply still risks putting a decent home out of reach for more and more people.
“The new government must urgently implement the recommendations of the housing supply forum report to address planning constraints and the housing industry’s difficulties in accessing suitable land. We cannot let such constraints limit our progress in building the new homes we so desperately need.”