WORK began on 76 new housing units in Limerick in the first four months of the year, new statistics have shown.
Figures just released by the Construction Industry Federation has shown a rise in the number of new-build properties from the same period on 2011, when work began on 53 new units.
Of the new units started, some 51 were single units, which included the early stages of an elderly persons development in Cliona Park Moyross.
This figure represented 67% of the total activity.
Some 54 of the housing units were commenced in Co Limerick, while just 22 were in the city area.
But while the news in the short term is good for Limerick, over the longer term things are not so rosy according to the lobby group.
For the 12 month period up to the end of April 2012, 164 housing units started in Limerick. This represents a drop from the figure in April 2011 when 212 units began.
There was also a decline in the level of new house completions over the first five months of the year.
Between January and May this year, 103 housing units were finished, compared with 113 during the same period in 2011, representing a group of ten units, or nine per cent.
Meanwhile, a separate study has also shown a sharp fall-off in the number of planning applications in Limerick.
The latest National Housing Construction Index, carried out by researchers at development web site www.link2plans.com, shows that in the first six months of this year, 298 planning applications were submitted to Limerick’s City and County Councils.
This represents a drop of 17% from the same period in 2011, when 361 companies or individuals sought to develop.
Managing director of Link2Plans Danny O’Shea said: “There is still a huge number of housing construction projects taking place, albeit these are on average smaller than in previous years.”
He noted the province has two times the activity per head of population than Dublin in terms of planning: “The message coming loud and clear from this analysis is there are thousands of live housing construction projects, however they are more regionally spread out.”