One of Ireland's leading construction cost management firms has reported a sizeable reduction in house building commencements over the last quarter of 2005 and the first quarter of 2006.

However, in its Summer 2006 Review of the Construction Industry, which was published today, Davis Langdon PKS said that the 'building bonanza' is continuing apace.

Norman Craig, Managing Director of DLPKS, said the total volume of construction output in Ireland on course to grow by 1% this year, as predicted by the firm in January.

He said: 'In terms of housing, there was a 25% growth in completion of new homes in January, February and March. Compared to the same period of 2005, a total of 22,000 new homes were completed as against 17,500.'

However he warned: 'Housing starts recorded in the last three months of 2005 and the first quarter of 2006 show significant reductions. Whether this represents a trend or an aberration remains to be seen.'