Monday 18 December 2017

The Punt: That's one way to cut prices

The Punt can't help getting sucked into economic reports on the state of the housing market.

The latest – from rating agency Standard & Poor's (S&P) – tells us what we knew anyway, but says it very bluntly.

In a nutshell, economists Sophie Tahiri and Jean-Michel Six reckon the worst could be over for the Irish property market. House prices are "stabilising or slightly improving", they say.

Things are fragile but could improve, according to the report.

It's a damn sight better than what international observers have been saying about Irish property for the past six years – but The Punt is a bit disappointed.

In Dublin, all the talk over the last two months has been about whether or not the capital has been thrown back into the maelstrom of a housing bubble.

S&P plays down those fears, and not because it is especially comfortable with double-digit growth.

Demand is strong in urban areas, it notes, but there's no need to worry.

Repossessions are sure to pick up now that the Central Bank has introduced its "revised code of conduct for mortgages. This could curb the nascent pick-up in house prices by increasing the number of properties on the market".

So that's all right then.

Irish Independent

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