Sunday 24 September 2017

A tale of two Davids, three big challenges - and Superman

Two experts have given a verdict on where the housing market is at, says Marc Coleman

Left: AIB CEO David Duffy comments on AIB’s first-half interim results. Photo: Shane O’Neill/ Fennell Photography Right: David Duffy of the ESRI said high rents could delay ‘family formation’ Photo: Shane O’Neill/Fennell Photography
Left: AIB CEO David Duffy comments on AIB’s first-half interim results. Photo: Shane O’Neill/ Fennell Photography Right: David Duffy of the ESRI said high rents could delay ‘family formation’ Photo: Shane O’Neill/Fennell Photography
Marc Coleman

Marc Coleman

David Duffy must be a genius. When not running AIB, his namesake is pumping out research for the ESRI on a regular basis.

Presumably between AIB headquarters in Dublin's suburb of Ballsbridge and ESRI offices on the quays is a telephone box where, Superman-like, Duffy wrestles with himself for a few minutes each day before emerging in a new guise. This week, that telephone box was fully occupied as three obstacles to a full recovery - problems it would take Superman to solve - were to the fore. AIB's David Duffy was firing off analysis on all of them: the plight of those stuck with their parents due to high rents, the plight of families in rented or cramped accommodation, unable to buy or trade up; and the plight of those in negative equity.

Yes, the economy is recovering. But, far from a rising tide lifting all boats, some are so badly holed below the waterline, it could pull them under, with rising house prices pushing home ownership further out of reach. To make recovery work for younger generations the housing shortage, credit famine and negative equity must be tackled.

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