Sunday 4 December 2016

We're drifting blindfolded from one crash to another

Published 26/05/2016 | 02:30

‘There seems to be little relationship between a house’s asking price and its final price’. (Picture posed)
‘There seems to be little relationship between a house’s asking price and its final price’. (Picture posed)

Gird your loins, it's back: gougeasaurus giganticus, the monster that ate Ireland. The many failings of the property crisis in Ireland are as understood as they are under-responded to.

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However, one aspect of the crisis that is getting too little attention, I would venture to suggest, is price gouging. South Dublin, especially, is experiencing a repeat of the last days of the fully sovereign republic, before we were made destitute by banks, builders and property agents.

Recent efforts by this buyer to purchase an apartment has involved a crash course in cynicism. Frequently, the final price and asking prices bear no relationship whatever. Lending approval flexibility, bidding wars and an utterly inert Property Services Regulatory Authority (I would challenge anyone to ring, they simply don't answer the phone), have combined to at least generate the conditions of a property 'El Nino', a storm that can, as we know to our continuing cost, eventually rip the heart out of a society.

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