The number of planning permissions granted for new homes rose by 40.8% in 2018, new figures from the Central Statistics Office shows.

A total of 29,243 dwelling units were granted planning permission last year, up from 20,776 units in 2017.

The CSO said that planning permissions were granted for 20,019 houses in 2018, a 30% increase on the previous year and the highest number seen since 2009.

Statistician Paul Murphy said that planning permissions were granted for over 20,000 houses last year compared with 15,440 in 2017.

"The number has increased every year since a low of 5,389 houses in 2012 but is significantly lower than the peak of 75,650 in 2005," Mr Murphy said.

Meanwhile, planning permissions for apartments jumped by 73% to 9,224 apartment units last year from 5,336 units in 2017.

Today's CSO figures show that one-off houses accounted for 20.3% of all new dwelling units granted planning permission in the fourth quarter of 2018.

They also reveal that planning permissions were granted for 6,682 homes in the fourth quarter of last year, down 3.6% on the 6,934 units in the the fourth quarter of 2017.

Planning permissions were granted for 4,376 houses in the fourth quarter of 2018, up 2% on the fourth quarter of 2017, while 2,306 apartment units got planning permission – a fall of 12.7%. 

The CSO said the total number of planning permissions granted for all developments last year rose by 6%. 

Of this, 26% of permissions were for new dwellings, 30% for other new constructions and 44% were for extensions, alterations and conversions.