Leading economist who predicted housing crash says now is time to buy
AN economist who was the only person in the property industry to label the housing market a bubble said yesterday that now is the right time for new buyers to enter the market.
Derek Brawn, whose book on the property market predicted the bursting of the bubble, said first-time buyers should buy now once they find a property at the right price.
The optimal time to buy a house was not at the bottom of the market but just before the market hit the bottom, Mr Brawn said.
A year before the bottom of the housing market is the ideal time to buy, he said.
Mr Brawn, who has launched a house price calculator at www.CompareBuy2Rent.ie, added: "House prices are only one factor that people should consider when choosing whether to buy a house now or wait for further reductions."
The other factors include benefits of paying off the capital amount on a mortgage, plus the fact that homeowners receive tax relief on mortgage interest.
"People need to consider both these benefits and factor in further house price drops, so they can buy now -- but at the right price," the former economist with an estate agency chain said.
Mr Brawn, whose book 'Ireland's House Party: What the Estate Agents Don't Want You to Know' made him the scourge of the property industry, said renters were missing out on mortgage tax relief.
Mr Brawn gave an example of a three-bed semi for sale in Kildare for €200,000.
A couple with a €20,000 deposit who are now renting a similar property for €850 a month should buy now if they can get the price down to €183,000.
This is based on a likely further decline in house prices of 15pc over the next five years, with a rise in European interest rates, calculations on CompareBuy2Rent suggest.