The state backed lender for small and medium sized builders and developers says it approved just over €100m in funding for the construction of over 500 homes throughout Ireland in its first nine months in business.

Home Building Finance Ireland was established in January of this year with a fund of €750m from the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund. 

The funding is intended to facilitate the construction of up to 7,500 homes over the next five years.

The 15 individual developments approved for funding range in size from 10 units to 76. 

€9 in every €10 approved so far has been for developments outside of Dublin, although the majority of approved developments are in the commuter counties surrounding the capital.

Two quite sizeable developments of over 50 units each have been approved in counties Cork and Kerry.


 

"We've seen activity commence in four of the 15 projects. That means there are diggers on site, foundations are being laid, homes are being built and the first homes will come to market before Christmas," Dara Deering, CEO of HBFI said.

Almost half of the units approved under HBFI funding are for three bedroom homes aimed at first time buyers and families.

"It's important to focus on increasing the housing supply, but we need to get a mix of homes and apartments.

"The homes are typically three bedroom homes. We're looking at it on a national basis and importantly we're seeing increasing supply in the private sector," Ms Deering explained. 

"In the case of about 25% of the houses being supported by HBFI, they're being built by companies and they will then be sold onto an approved housing body and they will increase the supply of social housing," she added.

In addition to the €102m funding approved to date, HBFI has established a pipeline of applications for future development potential.