DEVELOPERS are getting the green light to build far more properties now than they were last year.
But they are holding back on building the properties for which permission has been granted because of the prices slide and the fall-off in demand.
The number of houses and apartments granted planning permission in the final quarter of last year was up 9pc on the previous year's figure, despite the downturn in the housing market.
The Central Statistics Office (CSO) said yesterday that almost 17,800 units were approved in the last three months of 2007.
The number of houses granted permission was up just 0.5pc to just over 13,000.
The CSO report shows that, for the fourth quarter of 2007, planning permission was granted for 17,733 houses and apartments, compared with 16,251 units for the same period in 2006 -- a 9.1pc increase.
The fourth quarter figures from the statistics office also show that:
l Planning permissions were granted for 4,598 apartment units, compared with 3,197 units for the same period in 2006, an increase of 43.8pc
l Permissions were granted for 13,135 houses compared with 13,054 in the fourth quarter of 2006.
l One-off houses accounted for 24pc of all new properties approved.
l The total number of permissions granted for all developments was 12,330. This compares to 12,962 in the fourth quarter of 2006, a decrease of 4pc.
l Planning Permissions for new buildings for agriculture fell to 1,232 this quarter, down from 1,715.
Treacy Hogan Environment Correspondent