3,091 planning permissions for homes were granted in the first three months of the year, representing a small decline (3.8%) on the same period in 2015.

The figures from the Central Statistics Office also show the majority of these permissions granted were for houses (2,534), with the remainder for apartments (557).

While the number of planning permissions for houses are marginally higher (+0.8%) for the first quarter of 2016 than for the same period last year, permissions for apartments have fallen by 20.3%.

One-off houses accounted for nearly a third (31.6%) of all new dwelling units granted planning permission in the quarter. 

The total number of planning permissions granted for all developments between January and March was 4,914, compared with 3,901 in the first quarter of 2015 – an increase of 26%.

Total floor area planned was 1.28 million square metres in the first quarter. Of this, 39.2% was for new dwellings, 40.8% for other new constructions and 20% for extensions.

The total floor area planned increased by 31.6% in comparison with the same quarter in 2015.

Planning permissions for new buildings for agriculture increased to 429 in the first quarter, from 112 for the same period in 2015.