Offaly has experienced the highest percentage drop in planning applications in the country this year, according to the latest edition of the National Housing Construction Index compiled by Link2Plans.
Examination of housing construction planning applications and commencements from January to June of this year - and comparisons with the same period last year - show that planning applications in Offaly fell by 37 per cent between the first six months of 2012 and the same period in 2013.
The study also shows that planning commencements in Offaly fell by 21 per cent year on year.
Between January and June 2012 a total of 89 planning applications were recorded in Offaly.
One year later and that figure fell to 56 for the same time period.
The number of planning commencements in Offaly meanwhile was recorded as 48 from January to June 2012, but just 38 from January to June 2013.
Compared to Offaly the outlook is positive for some pockets around Ireland, which are experiencing both an increase in commencements and applications.
Although planning applications are down by ten per cent nationally, four counties have recorded an increase in applications and four have also shown an increase in commencements.
Speaking about the report Link2Plans MD Danny O’Shea said it shows the overall trend of falling planning applications and is more pronounced than previous reports, which is a major contributory factor leading to a fall in commencements.
He said Offaly should expect to see a continued drop in commencements, based on the fact that applicatoins are dropping at such a steep rate.
“The Link2Plans team have seen significant changes in activity throughout the country which in part can be explained by the weather conditions in the first few months of 2013,” he continued.
“There are however clear signs that the growth in residential construction activity is being felt in Dublin and other counties are still some way back. It will be interesting to see if the dry weather experienced throughout June and July will see the next edition of the index register an increase in project commencements.”