Stock market listed homebuilder Glenveagh Properties has announced a €500m investment programme which it says will see it delivering 3,000 new homes around the country.

The Dublin-listed company said it is currently preparing sites for construction in Dublin, Cork, Meath, Kildare and Kilkenny.

The homebuilder plans to take on 100 full time staff as well as around 900 sub-contractors, who the company says will be recruited on multi-year contracts.

It will bring Glenveagh's combined workforce to over 3,000, including directly employed staff and sub-contractors.

The company says the move reflects its confidence that demand for high-quality energy efficient homes has continued to grow throughout the pandemic.

"Construction will start in early 2021 with first deliveries in the fourth quarter of the year," Stephen Garvey, chief executive of Glenveagh Properties said.

"The average starting home price in the suburban portfolio is €300,000 with some starting at €250,000. We think they are very affordable homes."

A report from the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) in recent days pointed to net population growth of just under a million people in Ireland between 2016 and 2040 which will bring the estimated total population to over 5.6 million people by then.

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It calculates that 28,000 new homes would have to be built every year for the next two decades to keep pace with demand.

That figure could increase or decrease depending on net migration, it said.

Figures from the Central Bank put the estimated requirement at closer to 35,000 housing units per year.

A report by the Banking and Payments Federation in recent weeks also said the country was unlikely to reach the annual threshold for at least another three years.

After completing 21,000 units in 2019, the industry is on course for in excess of 19,000 completions this year, the BPFI estimates.

This is significantly higher than estimates produced in the early months of the pandemic when building sites were closed for several weeks to comply with Covid-19 restrictions.

Stephen Garvey said he believed the target was achievable over time.

"The right fundamentals have to be put in place, both by the sector and by government, to help deliver that. Ultimately to achieve affordability in the market, supply has to increase. 

"We will get there but we will have to be patient," he said.

Last month, Dublin City councillors voted to reject a proposal to sell land in Santry in Dublin to Glenveagh to deliver over 850 homes, some of which would be sold back to the Council. 

Mr Garvey said Glenveagh was 'willing and ready to re-engage' on the project if asked to.

"We see it as a critical project that needs to be delivered," he said.