There was a sharp fall in the number of planning permissions granted for new homes during the first three months of the year when compared with the same period of 2013.

Permission was granted for 1,604 dwelling units between January and March 2014, according to the Central Statistics Office, compared to 2,308 units in the first three months of last year. 

This represented a fall of 30.5% year-on-year.

Planning permissions for apartment units saw the sharpest fall – down 64.7% to 158 units, while permission for houses fell 22.3% to 1,446.

Almost half of all planning permissions were for one-off houses accounted, with 774 granted during the period. This number is steady when compared to the first quarter of 2013.

Despite the fall in planning permissions for homes, there was a rise in the numbers granted for all developments.

More than 3,800 planning permission requests were granted during the three months – up 17% on the first quarter of 2013.

This figure includes permissions for non-housing developments such as commercial, agricultural or industrial builds, as well as those for extensions, alterations and conversions.