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 Post subject: Lies, Damned Lies, and Housing Completion Statistics
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 8:43 am 
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Given the level of interest that the Housing Completion Statistics have stimulated in the wider media I think it's worth starting a thread on it.

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Housebuilding figures are inflated, TDs told, - TheTimes.co.uk
Quote:
The number of new houses being built each year has been “artificially inflated”, the Oireachtas housing committee has been told.

The Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government reported a steady rise in housebuilding activity since 2013.

Critics have questioned the accuracy of the data, which is based on new ESB connections made during the year.

At the committee meeting on Wednesday Lorcan Sirr, a housing policy lecturer at Dublin Institute of Technology, said that the margin of error in the department’s figures was “certainly more” than a fifth.

“Connection or re-connection to the electricity grid is a very unreliable method of assessing levels of housebuilding,” Mr Sirr, who writes a column on housing for The Sunday Times, said.

“When different measures are used, for example stamp duty transactions and other market indicators, it can be reliably calculated that the numbers of new houses and apartments being built each year is about half of what the official ‘completion’ statistics suggest.”

Mr Sirr said that several factors contributed to the inaccuracy of the official statistics. One was that units that have been vacant for more than two years require a new connection to the electricity grid for safety reasons.

Mr Sirr said a mix of ghost estates and residential units in Nama that have been recently reconnected to the grid have been propping up the statistics.

“In effect, we are building far fewer houses than we think, perhaps just over 8,000 in 2016, which casts serious doubt over the government’s plan to build an average of 25,000 houses per annum between this year and 2021.”


And now they're writing about it in The Village magazine!

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 Post subject: Re: Lies, Damned Lies, and Housing Completion Statistics
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 8:54 am 
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Given that we need 45-50'000 houses per year for the next five years it is clear that our Housing industry can not gear up to the challenge.

This Housing Crisis is only getting started.


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 Post subject: Re: Lies, Damned Lies, and Housing Completion Statistics
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 9:48 am 
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Coles2 wrote:
... it is clear that our Housing industry can not gear up to the challenge.

So whats the solution?


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 Post subject: Re: Lies, Damned Lies, and Housing Completion Statistics
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 10:48 am 
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And not one of these so called experts has suggested an alternative measure to current one of counting housing completions


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 Post subject: Re: Lies, Damned Lies, and Housing Completion Statistics
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 10:51 am 
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The essence of a "crisis" is that it demands short term solutions as well as long term solutions. The Governmental approach to the housing crisis is another example of the Civil Service and the State treating everything as a problem to be solved in the long run rather than the short term.

Long term solutions are of course cheaper in the short term. The problem with failing to deliver short term solutions is that there is often a huge long term cost arising from the damage that was allowed to fester. What people do not realise is that FG's insistence on only looking for medium to long term solutions arise from their focus on the short term. They want to put off spending the money until later so that they can pay for other things (which might shore up their support) now. They don't want to reduce the pot they have for the next two years.

We have had a number of severe crises arising after the international financial crash which have been dealt with in this way, and which we will pay hugely for in the long term. Three stand out:

1. Unemployment - we could have had state sponsored work and study to give people facing unexpected unemployment a leg up for the future and a sense of self worth. All studies show that the long term costs of leaving people out of work are huge and are lasting.

2. Insolvency - our insolvency laws were reformed slowly, and when reformed it was still far slower to get out of insolvency than other countries. Only at the very end of the last Government in the face of an election was this appalling policy corrected.

3. Housing - Years into a housing crisis very few radical solutions have been proposed. All the debate is about supply being increased. That is valid but again it is a focus on the long term not the short term. The focus is still on tinkering with the market with tax rebates and rent caps. These may well be beneficial in the long run, but it is not enough. In the meantime, local authorities are being told by Enda Kenny to 'get on with it'. A bit like "Brexit means Brexit", it shows the Government do not know how to deliver social housing. Meanwhile, the future social, economic and health costs are mounting higher and higher.

The FG party needs to be called out for what it is - timid, inept, lacking any vision and focussed only on the short term. In the long runs we will all pay dearly for FG's reluctance to take decisive action. Their talk about the long term conceals a poisonous short-termism.


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 Post subject: Re: Lies, Damned Lies, and Housing Completion Statistics
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 10:57 am 
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bart wrote:
And not one of these so called experts has suggested an alternative measure to current one of counting housing completions

The answer is obvious. Differentiate new builds in the new building control management system and aggregate data. The certificates of compliance on completion required under the new Building Control Regulations will tell you when new units are completed if the data is requested and included in the register (database). One would hope this is already happening. Perhaps another poster might know?

The issue behind the articles is not how stupid the Government are at getting the data. The issue is that the Government has happily persisted with patently false and unreliable data which inflate the numbers rather than investing in getting proper data. If the Government really wanted to solve the crisis they would insist on proper data.


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 Post subject: Re: Lies, Damned Lies, and Housing Completion Statistics
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2017 12:52 pm 
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Alternative facts from the Indo. It's amazing that Kevin Doyle (Political editor) is so 'on message' that he can't even qualify the government's claim.

Home building at highest levels since 2009, - Indo

Quote:
Almost 15,000 new homes were completed last year, the largest number since 2009.

New figures to be published by the Department of Housing today will show that while the construction industry is slowly getting back to business, the market is still a long way off what is considered normal.

The second quarterly report of the Government's housing strategy, 'Rebuilding Ireland', shows that 14,932 new homes were completed during 2016, an increase of 18pc on the previous year. However, it is estimated that around 25,000 units are needed every year to restore the market to a healthy level.

Of the homes completed in 2016, some 6,289 were in the Greater Dublin area and 8,643 across the rest of the country.


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 Post subject: Re: Lies, Damned Lies, and Housing Completion Statistics
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 2:47 pm 
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Tom Healy of the Nevin Economic Research Institute have caught up with the story and he got a bit of a surprise...

Housing statistics - some challenges
Quote:
In a previous Monday Blog, “Housing: no surprises ”, I reported an estimate of new house building in the region of 15,000 in 2016. In fact, the situation is probably far worse than might have appeared from the chart shown in that blog (the title of which has been changed and is reproduced in Chart 1 here). Based, as it was, on annualised [Dept of Housing] ‘House Completions’ the statistics may be a poor guide to the actual number of new houses built and completed in a given year.


Shame that Mr Healy has gotten himself bogged down in focusing on the issue with the fake statistics instead of considering how this throws all the housing projections out the window, and indeed the range of economic decisions that are based on them.


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