Articles: Property %
June 30, 2014
This may seem like a distasteful question to pose on a Sunday morning, particularly if you are sitting across the kitchen table from someone you love, but I’ll ask it anyway: do you think divorces are good for the housing market? More
June 9, 2014
If you only have to look at one chart this week, let it be the one on this page (chart one). More
June 5, 2014
It is hard to believe that we are at it again, but we are and it’s kind of surreal. I was walking past a small end-of-estate, three-bedroomed semi the other day. It is for sale, and it is going for auction – a sure sign that the mania is upon us again. The “for auction” sign is enough to torpedo the spirits of even the most optimistic first-time buyer. More
June 3, 2014
Last week, there was lots of talk about individual politicians but, in truth, these people – although mostly well-intentioned – don’t actually matter in terms of the economy. All the main Irish parties believe in the same economic orthodoxy, so in a sense they are irrelevant. Remember, it was economic orthodoxy that got us into this mess, so it’s hardly the most likely route out of the crisis. More
May 22, 2014
What better city for a football lover to be in this week than Madrid? I have always loved Spanish football commentary. Even though I haven’t a word of Spanish, I love the rapid-fire speech, the dramatic rolling Rs, the intensity and pace of the commentators and of course, the demented celebrations when a goal is scored. More
May 19, 2014
If you were worried about the Dublin property market entering bubble territory, then the government’s plans unveiled during the week, makes that bubble more, not less likely. More
May 5, 2014
Years ago, in 2006, this column coined the expression ‘ghost estates’ after a drive from Castlebar to Dublin, where I saw row after row of these estates being built outside provincial villages. That year, over 90,000 houses were built in Ireland. I had no idea that this expression ‘ghost estate’ would find its way into the sorry lexicon of the era, but it did. More
May 1, 2014
In my 2007 book ‘The Generation Game’, I wrote “Anglo Irish bank is little more than an out-of-control hedge fund leveraging themselves and their clients into property”. The lawyers for the publishers insisted that the name Anglo be dropped, for fear of litigation. So the published sentence replaced the words Anglo Irish Bank with the more general “certain well-known Dublin banks”. More
April 17, 2014
I’ve had a soft spot for Limerick since the time a pretty Laurel Hill teenager from Ennis Road whispered to a freckly, 15-year-old redhead outside the ceili at Irish college that she thought he was special. More
April 7, 2014
The frenzy has started again. Six years after a property boom practically destroyed our economy, we are at the same nonsense again. When are we ever going to learn that buying and selling over-priced houses to each other is not going to make us rich, but will make us poor? More
I write a column every week. This keeps me sane and hopefully, on my toes – but you can be the judge of that! The article appears in the Irish Times every Saturday. I just started writing this column (having recently left my column at the Irish Independent which I wrote for over 10 years). I cover economic, financial, demographic, social and geo-political issues – and all sorts of other things that come into my head, sparked by things I’ve read, people I have spoken to or ideas I have heard, over the course of any particular week.
The world - and Ireland - is changing so rapidly that it’s impossible to run out of things to write about. Since I rarely stop writing, the articles are composed and written in the oddest of places, in bars, on trains, in my office, on buses. You name it, I’ve written in, on or under it.
One of the great joys in the week is reading the responses to my articles in the comments on this site. Thanks so much to everyone who responds, challenges, argues and even blatantly insults! This is what freedom of expression and opinion is all about: two contrasting opinions – a buyer and a seller - make a market and makes for good discussion. Imagine a world where we all agreed?