The number of new home completions this year is expected to be around 18,000, according to Banking and Payments Federation Ireland.

While that figure is down 3,000 units or 14% on last year, Dr Ali Ugur, the BPFI's chief economist, said it is better than many had expected, considering the construction sector had shut down during the Covid-19 lockdown.

"The housing construction sector has been more resilient than anticipated in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic," he said.

Dr Ugur said before the pandemic, house completions for 2020 were estimated to be around 25,000 units.

"With the construction sector still operating at around 85% of capacity at the moment, in addition to significant lost output during most of the second quarter of 2020, it is unlikely that we will reach this output level with completions expected to reach only 18,000 this year," he said.

Speaking on Morning Ireland, Dr Ugur said the general expectation is that there will be a slight decline in property prices during 2020.

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"It is a balance between supply and demand. If we see supply decreasing and demand is still there, it will put further pressure on prices.

"The latest figures from the CSO show there has been a slight decline in overall prices nationwide and that has been an ongoing trend, so prices are stablising," he said.

As expected, mortgage drawdown activity has also seen a decline, however Dr Ugur said things are starting to pick up.

"The 15,350 mortgages drawn down to a value of €3.46 billion during the first half of 2020 reflects a fall of around 18%," he said.

"The total number of approvals in the first seven months of 2020 were 20,251 with a total value of around €4.8 billion compared to €6.6 billion in the same period in 2019, a decline of around 30% in value terms," he added.

Figures from the Central Credit Register, also highlight a jump in activity, he explained.

"While data from the Central Credit Register show that lender enquiries related to new mortgage applications fell by over 50% between February and May of this year, by August this number had picked up again to the level observed back in February," he said.

According to the report, the number of housing commencements in the second quarter were down over 50% on the same period last year, which Dr Ugur said will result is further supply issues next year.

"When we look at the commencement levels it generally gives us an idea of how many houses we can expect to see in the next 12 to 18 months, so the fact that this figure is down in 2020, we can expect to see less houses completed in 2021," he said.