The number of new housing starts continued to slow last month, according to new figures from the Department of Housing.

Commencement notices show 1,841 units began construction in October. That is down on the 2,211 figure for September and down 31% on October last year.

The rolling 12-month commencement figure is now 26,608, which is down 14% year-on-year. Housing starts peaked in March of this year at 34,846.

Completions on a 12-month rolling basis were 27,773 at the end of September - up a third on last year.

An analysis by Goodbody Stockbrokers shows that in the three months to October, apartment construction fell by 29% year-on-year while housing schemes fell by 23%.

According to its chief economist Dermot O'Leary, the "viability of apartment construction has been compromised by increased construction costs and yields recently."

He also suggests that based on current trends, housing output may stall in the mid 20,000s over the next 18 months, well below Housing for All targets.