June 14, 2018 / 10:27 AM / 9 months ago

Irish house building up 27 pct in Q1 but lags targets

DUBLIN, June 14 (Reuters) - Ireland built 27 percent more homes in the first quarter of the year compared to the same period last year, the Central Statistics Office said on Thursday, but building levels significantly lagged what economists say is required.

Ireland built 14,446 dwellings in 2017, an increase of 46 percent from the previous year, the data showed.

Economists estimate that 35,000 new homes are needed a year to address the shortage in Ireland and keep up with demand in a country with the European Union’s fastest growing population.

The new data series was released on Thursday for the first time following criticism that official government statistics overstated construction levels. (Reporting by Conor Humphries Editing by Alexander Smith)

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