The number of new housing units completed in 2021 came to 20,433, according to the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office. That was 0.5% fewer than the 20,526 completed in 2020.

There was an increase of just over 30% in the number of apartments built to 5,107. Single dwellings fell by 5.3% to 4,682 while scheme dwellings fell by 8.7% to 10,644.

Various experts have estimated the number of new housing units which need to be built every year to match the increase in the population is approximately between 35,000-40,000.

Apartments accounted for 25% of the units completed last year, schemes 52.1% and single homes 22.9%.

2021 was the first year that more apartments than single homes were completed.

The total figure for completed dwellings in the final quarter of last year was 6,837 which was 5.3% fewer units than the 7,326 completed in the last quarter of 2020.

Apartments units were up just over 28% in the fourth quarter while scheme homes were down just over 17%. There was a 9.5% decrease in the number of one-off homes.

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Monthly figures show the impact of Covid restrictions over the past two years. There were only 395 completions at the low point in April 2020, 73% fewer than April 2019.

Completions did recover over the course of the rest of 2020 before reaching a high of 2,830 in November which was just over 30% above the corresponding figure for 2019.

Completions were lower in the first three months of last year, 2021, compared to the first three months of 2020.

The Covid restrictions also had an impact on work starting on sites last year and this pushed through to lower completions in the third quarter.

However, just like in 2020, completions rose again to levels above 2019 but below the levels recorded in 2020 in the final two months of last year.

80.3% of units completed in 2021 were in urban areas, the highest percentage since the series began in 2011.

77.8% of the apartments completed were in the Dublin area. Of all the home completions in Dublin in 2021, 64% were apartments.

The percentage of estate dwellings that are detached has fallen from 20.7% in 2014 to 9.7% in 2021. 49.5% of estate homes are semi-detached, pretty much unchanged, according to the CSO, since 2014.

Property Industry Ireland (PII), the Ibec group for businesses working in the property sector, said today's data from the CSO shows that dwelling completions performed well in 2022, despite the impact of Covid-19 restrictions in the early part of the year.

"Completions in 2021 matched those of 2020, reflecting the positive response from the construction sector to make up for the impact of Covid-19 restrictions on activity," said Dr David Duffy, PII Director.

He said growth in new home starts suggest a further increase in the delivery of new homes in 2022.

"As we continue to emerge from the pandemic, it is important Government engages with the private sector to cooperate on the goal of delivering the targets set out in Housing for All," he added.