The number of houses and apartments in the planning system fell by 27% between the first and second quarter of the year, new research has found.

The drop was matched by a similar reduction in commercial schemes according to Deloitte Real Estate Advisory.

"While the initial effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the real estate sector are still being realised, the drop in the number of applications being granted permission during the quarter is most likely a direct implication of the Department of Housing making orders to add 56 days to the statutory time period for processing planning applications," Vincent Sorohan, Director of Deloitte Real Estate Advisory said. 

Such orders were needed to deal with the operational effects of the public health measures implemented by the Government, he added.

99 new applications for residential planning permission were lodged in the second quarter, up from 78 in the previous quarter.

But just 74 residential schemes offering more than 20 units were granted planning between April and June.

That compares with 95 over the period from January and March. 

Commencements also fell to 27 during the three months, from a total of 57 between January and March.

Overall, there was a significant drop in the number of residential units being delivered with 22,615 in the planning system during the second quarter, down from 30,829 in the first quarter, Deloitte said.

Applications for planning in the commercial sector rose from 6 to 12 between the first and second quarter.

Eight office schemes were also given permission by planning chiefs during the second three months, compared with 18 in the first quarter.

"It is notable that there was an increase in the number of planning applications for office development across Ireland in Q2 2020, with a 100% jump in applications lodged per quarter," said Sorohan. 

"This cannot be taken as an indicator of confidence in the office sector market, however, as it remains to be seen how many of these progress to commencements."