However, from Q3 2007 onwards the dramatic fall in the granting of planning permissions symbolises the bursting of the property bubble and the subsequent collapse in the demand for new properties. From Q1 2002 to Q3 2007 planning permission approvals increased by 70%. But it only took from Q3 2007 until Q3 2008 for the number of granted permissions to fall from their highest point back to 2002 levels. Even given this dramatic decrease, the decline failed to bottom out and by 2009 the number of granted planning permissions had fallen to half of the number granted in 2002.
This downward trend shows little sign of abating, with figures indicating that the number of granted planning permissions in 2010 was 37% less than those granted in 2009. These figures highlight how far Ireland’s property sector has fallen from the heady heights of 2007. They also show the detachment from reality which was prevalent during the property bubble where unsustainable levels of property development were undertaken.