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Comparison of Residential Construction Costs in Ireland to other European Countries

Comparison of Residential Construction Costs in Ireland to other European Countries
12 Apr 2018



Housing Agency publishes Comparison of Residential Construction Costs  

in Ireland to other European Countries     


Rebuilding Ireland sets out an objective of benchmarking housing delivery input costs in Ireland. In parallel with a delivery costs and viability study carried out by an expert group chaired by the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, the Housing Agency undertook a complementary study to examine residential construction costs in Ireland compared to a range of comparable European countries. 


The comparable countries included in the Agency’s study are: United Kingdom (UK), Germany, the Netherlands, and France. These countries were selected because they have comparable climatic conditions, economic characteristics and construction labour costs to Ireland.   


This study finds that Ireland has comparable construction costs for residential buildings with the UK, Germany and France. However, in the Netherlands, costs are of the order of 18% less than in Ireland and are also notably lower than in the UK, Germany and France. The information obtained from the Netherlands suggests that there are a number of factors which may play a part in achieving lower residential construction costs including the types of houses and apartments built; the level of control and intervention by municipalities; and the high proportion of residential developments undertaken by housing associations.  


The report also highlights the difficulty of getting true cost comparisons between countries. This is due to the variety of approaches to undertaking residential development in each country and the local industry practices that exist. These include significantly different arrangements between the client, design teams and contractors; control and ownership of land between local government and the private sector; the level of intervention of local government in controlling development and providing infrastructure; and the relative levels of residential development undertaken by not-for-profit organisations such as housing associations or municipal housing companies.   


The table below sets out an index of residential costs between the study countries with Ireland set as the baseline country.  

Index of Residential Construction Cost (Q1 2017) 


Residential Cost Index 












See the report here