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The Irish Construction Market

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Thus every sector within the construction industry has been affected by the collapse of the housing and construction market in Ireland, whilst the challenging economic environment has resulted in a fragile building sector overall. Confidence in the construction industry is low to date in 2012, due to the low levels of orders combined with intense competition for limited work that is put out to tender, and a surplus of vacant property in private sector residential and non-residential construction.
However, the recovery of both economies as identified by government plans is dependent on the development of a modern and sustainable economic infrastructure that supports economic growth, with the construction industry being an important component within this objective. Thus the construction industry will play an integral part in the future prosperity of both regions.

Some questions answered in this report include:
What is the size of the construction industry in NI and RoI?
How has the economic downturn impacted on the construction industry and what sub-sectors have been most affected?

What is the role of the Irish construction market in the national strategies of each region?
Do the governments of NI and RoI see the construction industry as a priority area to stimulate economic activity within each region?

What areas are the governments of NI and RoI focused on to improve the economic position and social infrastructure of each region?
Outline the key construction related projects which aim to improve the economic position and social infrastructure of each region.
Who are the largest construction companies in Ireland?
Give an overview of the main players within the construction industry in NI and RoI.

What are the future growth areas for the construction industry in Ireland and what new forms of funding will be used to fund these growth areas?
Outline the changing trends within the residential housing sector and review the new sources of funding that are emerging to facilitate new large scale public sector projects. In addition, the importance of the Green economy within the construction industry will also be discussed.

Issues in the Market
Key themes in the industry

Market in Brief
Construction Industry output contracts
Figure 1: Output of the construction industry in current prices by region, NI and RoI, 2006-11
Figure 2: Total insolvencies by industry, RoI*, 2009-11
Weak residential housing sector
Decreasing government budgets impacting on construction sector
Future focus on fit for purpose rather than new building stock

Market Background
Construction industry outperformed economy as a whole in the past

External Market Environment - Economic Factors
Key points
Sharp decline in construction industry output
Consumer Price Index falling
Figure 3: Consumer Price Index percentage change over 12 months, NI and RoI, June 2011 to June 2012

External Market Environment - Social Factors
Key points
General trend shows high unemployment in both NI and RoI
Figure 4: ILO unemployment rate (% of labour force), actual and projected, NI and RoI, 2008-15
Figure 5: Unemployment figures, NI and RoI, 2008-12
High unemployment within the construction industry
Figure 6: Employment within the Construction industry, NI and RoI 2007 -11
Figure 7: Construction employment in RoI, 2007 and 2011
NI construction sector employing less
Job initiatives in RoI
Irish construction firms can retain jobs through focusing on export markets
Decreasing wages within the RoI construction industry
Single household occupancy increasing
Figure 8: Projected households, by size, NI, 2008-23
Figure 9: Projected population, by residency, NI, 2008-23
Figure 10: Projected households, by size, RoI, 1981-2006
Ageing population
Figure 11: Population, by age, NI, 2008-58
Over 20% of RoI residents are aged 55+
Figure 12: Population, by age, RoI, 2006-26
Ageing population need to invest in repair and maintenance to combat fuel poverty
Figure 13: Dwelling stock, unfit by tenure, NI 2009 and 2011
Figure 14: Older people living in private households and communal establishments, NI* and RoI*, 2002-06

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The Irish Construction Market


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