Irish Construction Industry Overview:
- The World Bank’s Doing Business 2013 report ranks Ireland 15th out of 185 global economies, an improvement from the country’s rank of 16th in the Doing Business 2012 Ireland also improved its ranking in the ‘Starting a Business,’ ‘Registering Property’ and ‘Resolving Insolvency’ sub-categories.
- Despite the economic downturn and uncertainties in Europe, Ireland remains a popular Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) destination. Over the past decade, inflows of FDI into Ireland, as a percentage of GDP, have tended to be substantially higher than inflows into other Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) economies.
- The Irish seasonally-adjusted standardized unemployment rate stood at 14.8% in 2012, while the budget deficit reached 8.2% of GDP in the same year. Moreover, the domestic demand for goods and services declined.
- The government has announced real estate investment trusts and reduced VAT for the tourism sector in order to support the commercial construction market.
- In its 2013 budget, the government reduced its expenditure on the healthcare sector and announced EUR781 million worth of cuts. Furthermore, in a bid to reduce public debt the government announced further budget cuts for the education sector, amounting to EUR90 million in 2013.
- The construction industry has lost many workers as a result of lay-offs during the recession. The industry might, therefore, face a shortage of skilled workers as it attempts to recover.
- Germany was the largest construction market in Europe; it was approximately 27 times bigger than the Irish construction market in 2012.
- The Irish construction industry valued EUR10.8 billion (US$14.2 billion) in 2012). All construction categories registered negative growth, largely as a result of the economic slowdown experienced after the financial crisis and austerity measures implemented by the government.
Residential construction is the largest construction market within the Irish construction industry, However, the residential construction market was also one of the worst performing categories, Depressed economic conditions due to government austerity measures are making it difficult for Irish households to repay housing debt. Prospective buyers, especially those looking to get onto the property ladder, are also finding it difficult to secure mortgages without being asked to pay huge deposits.