The number of commencement notices lodged for new homes hit a record high in the year to the end of March, according to data released by the Department of Housing.

In total, notices for 2,809 units were received by the Building Control Authorities in the month.

That is up 21% on the previous month when notices for 2,327 units were submitted.

The number is 190% higher than March of last year, which was a month after restrictions had been in place on construction activity due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In the year to the end of March of this year, commencement notices for 34,846 units were received.

This represents the highest rolling 12-month total since the data first started to be published in 2014.

Outside of the Dublin local authority areas, the largest number of residential units for which notices were received came from Kildare, followed by Cork county and Meath.

Experts have estimated that around 33,000 new homes are required each year until 2030 in order to meet Ireland's housing needs.

This was before the war in Ukraine, leading to a large influx of people from that country who may require housing here in the short to medium term.