Planning permissions for homes were down 14.1% in the last three months of 2012, according to the Central Statistics Office.
Permissions for 1,851 dwelling units were granted during the fourth quarter of last year, compared to 2,156 in the same period of 2011.
431 apartment units were given planning permission - a fall of 30% - while 1,420 houses were granted permission - a fall of almost 8%.
One-off housing accounted for 40.6% of all planning permissions granted during this time.
In 2012 a total of 3,643 planning permissions were granted for new dwellings. This compares to a total of over 27,000 in 2004 and over 25,000 in 2005.
However the total floor area planned was 7.8% higher than the final three months of 2011, with 763,000sqm of permission being granted in Q4 2012, including new dwellings, other construction and extensions.