COVID-19 and the publication of New Dwelling Statistics

This note was published on Wednesday 20 May 2020.

Due to the coronavirus illness (COVID-19) we anticipate that there will be some changes in terms of our regular statistical production. The current disruption could affect the quality of some of our statistics, such as lower accuracy, or it could mean there is less detail available, such as fewer local and regional breakdowns. In some cases, the production of some data series may need to be suspended.

Decisions will be made on a case by case basis, taking into account what information is currently relevant given the situation, with the three pillars of the Code of Practice for Statistics - Trustworthiness, Quality and Value guiding our decisions. Giving everyone access to statistics at the same time remains a fundamental principle of the Code, but where this cannot be maintained we will be open and transparent about this and any other potential effects on our statistics.

The published statistics are a count of the number of starts and completions inspections carried out by Building Control officers in each council. Responding to Coronavirus guidelines, physical inspections by Building Control offices across Northern Ireland ceased in the second half of March 2020 although some inspections are now being carried out virtually.

We are very mindful of the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic and will be monitoring the flow of information from building control offices in the coming months. If the data look to be complete then we may publish even if the numbers are low because this would, of itself, be useful information. We are planning to provide updated information on our website when the position is clearer.

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