New figures on planning permissions show a dramatic rise in the amount of applications being granted in the early part of this year.

Central Statistics Office figures reveal that planning permissions were granted for 3,155 housing units in the first quarter of 2015, up 96.7% on the 1,604 the same time last year.

The figures show that permissions were granted for 2,514 houses in the three months from January to March, up 73.9% on the figure of 1,446 the same time last year.

Planning permissions were also granted for 641 apartment units in the three month period, up a massive 305% on the first quarter of 2014.

The CSO noted that once-off houses accounted for 28.8% of all new dwelling units which received planning permission in the first quarter.

Planning permissions for new agriculture buildings also rose in the quarter, up to 112 compared to 93 the same time last year.