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Homes on sale at lowest level since 2006

As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded over the past month, Townmore sites had remained open and largely operational – while adhering to public health restrictions and social distancing guidelines – right up until last week. What a difference a day makes… Since An Taoiseach’s address to the nation last Friday evening, Townmore sites, like most of the country, have gone into a state of ‘lockdown’.

It has been a challenging week after a series of challenging weeks, however, at all times, our staff and management have been mindful of the reason why this course of action proved necessary – public health is and must remain the driving priority at this time. 

Human cost is too great a price to pay.

Taking a broader view, the pace at which this pandemic has effectively shut down the global economy is truly unprecedented. It is a business imperative right now to plan and make preparations to get back to business as soon as it is safe to do so. When we, as a society, overcome this crisis, we will need jobs, homes and futures.

According to today, ‘House completions [are] likely to ‘dry up’ as homes on sale at lowest level since 2006’, you can read the full article here: 

Describing the current crisis as “a threat to Ireland’s nascent housing market recovery”, the journalist reports that there are now fewer properties available for sale in Ireland than at any time since the peak of the Celtic Tiger era in 2006. Quoted in the article, Professor Ronan Lyons states that this has “changed the prospects for the Irish housing market entirely”. 

Significantly, not all of this can be attributed to the impact of Covid-19 on Ireland’s housing market. In real terms, March is the seventh consecutive month that the stock of residential property for sale in Ireland has fallen, with the drop more pronounced in the greater Dublin area at 20 percent.  Can this really be a priority right now?

The Irish Government has shown great leadership in the most challenging of circumstances. Individual leaders have shown a remarkable ability to seek out, find, listen to and take on board the right medical, policy and communications advice. Looking further afield, this is not something that people living in every country can take for granted.  

Within the construction industry here in Ireland, it has been encouraging to see organisations step up when needed and, more importantly, step down when appropriate. As the industry works remotely on preparing to re-open building sites as soon as it is safe to do so, there is much work to be done. The internal communications function has never been more critical to an organisation than it is right now. 

Each of the Townmore sites and projects are subject to daily updates as we assess the impact of this two-week closure on the overall build programme and make plans to resume activities at scale – or to extend the closure – subject to Government direction on April 12th, if not before. Our team is working to mitigate these impacts (cashflow, schedules, materials etc) insofar as possible and we continue to engage with project stakeholders and our all-important supply chain. 

We are ready to do what is needed.