Irish housebuilder cuts number of completed homes by half

Irish housebuilder McInerney Holdings says it continues to see challenging trading conditions in the UK and Irish housing markets in a trading update released today for the year ending 31 December 2009.

The group completed a total of 756 homes in 2009 in its three markets - Ireland, the UK and Spain. This compares to a total of 1,359 units the previous year.

It said that total housing deposits on hand by the end of 2009 were 374, compared to 509 by the end of 2008. Total completions in the UK stood at 582 compared to 750 the previous year.

It added that it completed 131 private house completions in Ireland last year, down from the figure of 296 in 2008. There are 42 private deposits on hand. McInerney's Irish contracting business completed 31 housing units in 2009, a decline from the 306 completions in 2008.

The update read: "The Irish market for standard housing product has found a certain degree of price stability since late 2009, albeit the level of demand remains very low. Mortgage constraints persist as evidenced by a significant number of potential house purchases not being completed by year end due to lack of mortgage availability. There is modest upward pressure on house prices in the UK but this is slow to filter through to the group's geographic regions. Overall, both markets remain uncertain."