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91% of Ireland’s property sector believe that streamlining planning would have the biggest impact on boosting housing supply, according to our latest survey. Meanwhile, only 4% felt that a new government would have the most significant effect.

The survey was carried out at our annual property conference, Planning & Building for Tomorrow, which took place at the Mansion House, Dublin, and attracted almost 500 industry professionals. Visit the event page to read more and watch the video overviews.

Jamie Fitzmaurice, Real Estate Partner, chaired a panel on Housing Delivery and Beyond. He commented: “Boosting supply in the market is key to addressing the chronic shortfall of housing in Ireland. What was very clear from today’s discussion is that it’s a challenge that requires a collective solution. Collaboration across all stakeholders, from both the public and private sector, is critically important if we are to find new and innovative solutions to deliver the scale of housing needed to satisfy demand.”

Watch the short event videos

Speaker Ronan Lyons, economist and Trinity lecturer, predicted: “The next 3 years will be challenging due to external factors like costs and interest rates and the self-inflicted decisions of a cumbersome system. External factors will dominate but if we're not building 50k plus houses a year, things are going to get worse.”

The majority (57%) think that the Planning and Development Bill will have no impact on reducing bottlenecks in the planning system.

Paul Bassett, Construction Partner, moderated a discussion on The Planning & Development Bill – Will it Speed up the Planning System? and commented: “Whatever you think of the Planning & Development Bill – and there was a lively discussion on my panel - it represents the largest overhaul of Ireland’s planning and development regime in over 20 years. I think the poll results reflect the difficult balancing act between ensuring a time and cost-efficient planning process, while complying with our legal requirements related to public participation and access to justice.”

The survey also found that two thirds of the industry (66%) believe modular housing could make a significant contribution to the housing crisis.

Panellist Arlene van Bosch, Senior Development Manager, Land Development Agency, commented: “We need better assurances as an industry on the quality, the costs and the protocols in using modular housing. The speed at which modular houses can be constructed means that if those assurances are there, it could be a good option to explore. However, we need to ensure we don’t rely too heavily on one single solution when it comes to increased supply of new residences.”

Watch the full panel discussions

When asked to predict the average daily rate of office occupancy in Dublin in 2026, the majority of respondents (51%) said it will be between 50 and 70%.

Tom Davy, Real Estate Partner, chaired a panel discussion on PropTech and the Changing Face of Real Estate and said: “Flexible and remote working mean Dublin’s office occupancy rates are in a state of flux. AI and other technologies can certainly create more efficient offices, track occupancy rates, identify cost and energy-saving opportunities, and generally enhance workplace management. But what came across strongly is that AI will not replace human input or roles but more so augment them, and as a result the office space and personal interaction is still critical for most organisations.”

Partner and Co-Head of Real Estate, Vanessa Byrne, said: “Addressing the property crisis is one of the most important issues facing our country today, and our Built Environment lawyers are finely attuned to the challenges and complexities facing the sector. Today’s conference was an opportunity for industry leaders to discuss how we can plan and build for a better tomorrow. We explored the key issues we are encountering with our clients, from the potential of Proptech to the proposed new planning regime and the critical issue of housing delivery in Ireland.”

Read more about the survey findings in The Currency, Business Plus, Law Society of Ireland Gazette and Irish Legal News, or find out more about our Built Environment team.

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