FIGURES for new house registrations in the first nine months of the year are down a massive 57% on last year, new figures have revealed.
The statistics released by the Department of the Environment, based on figures submitted by Homebond, also showed that new house building has come to a standstill in many counties.
No new house registrations were recorded in 15 counties in September while the figures also showed that, for the entire year to the end of September, there were no new house registrations in Leitrim and Longford.
Cavan recorded just one new house registration in the same period while Monaghan, Roscommon and Westmeath recorded just three each.
Registrations are lodged with Homebond when work commences on new homes.
The figures show that no new house registrations were recorded in Carlow, Cavan, Clare, Kerry, Longford, Mayo, Monaghan, Wicklow, Westmeath, Roscommon, Offaly, Laois, Leitrim, Louth and Waterford during September.
The figures for the month show that there were 17 new homes registered in Dublin, with 15 in Cork and three in Limerick.
New house registrations for the first nine months totalled 625 – this compares with 1,476 for the corresponding period last year – a drop of 57%.
Speaking to The Irish Independent, Sherry FitzGerald chief economist Marian Finnegan said: "The figures are not a shock. The market has effectively stopped producing new homes and there is very, very little new construction."
"It is very worrying because we are not planning for the future. We are living in the present and, with population growth, there will be a demand for 30,000 new units per annum."
Ms Finnegan said there were around 27,000 units of unsold homes that were complete or nearly complete.