While these figures indicate positive growth for the sector, the majority of the value of the works are confined to Dublin and its surroundings. Dublin City and County, Meath, Wicklow and Kildare account for 67% of the value of works but the rest of Leinster, Munster, Connacht and Ulster only account for 33%.
Annemarie Harte, Chief Executive of Hardware Association Ireland commented:
“Merchants and suppliers are only beginning to see an increase in activity after years of struggling. With consumer confidence starting to return, more time is needed to allow the rest of the country to catch up and benefit from this incentive. The injection into the sector has exceeded all expectations – €414 million spent by Irish homeowners and more recently, landlords, translates into over €5 million per week spent on home improvements under the scheme since its introduction in October 2013. There is huge potential to be unlocked by encouraging this scheme in places outside of where it’s currently buoyant. The scheme is due to end in December this year; Hardware Association Ireland will be calling on the Government to extend the scheme to allow greater penetration into rural areas. This will allow the positive impact on business and renovators alike to continue.”