Saturday 27 May 2017

Brendan Keenan: Pub talk about property rings true

Our love affair with houses may not be over just yet as the Government seeks to re-ignite a depressed market

IF memory serves me right, there is a scene in McCarthy's Bar -- that hilarious, astute observation of modern Ireland -- involving a traditional music session where the Europeans are paying rapt attention to the music, the Americans are taking pictures, and the Irish are talking about property prices.

Since the book was published in 2008, the comments of the sadly missed Pete McCarthy endorse the much duller conclusions of several economists, that the property bubble began before the credit explosion of 2003. That would help explain the size of the burst.

The market may be shattered, but is the love affair with property over? Quite possibly not. Last week, Klaus Regling, the German official who helped prepare one of the three reports on the banking crash, was in town. Mr Regling now runs the bailout fund, officially known as the EFSF, but he has earlier form than that where Ireland is concerned.

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