Text alert: the property you want has 'relaunched', €35,000 dearer
The boom might not be back - but it would seem many of its symptoms are
The text message made it seem like the most normal thing in the world - a bargain even.
"We have just relaunched Property X to the market with a guide price of €435,000," it said proudly.
Of course, in estate agent language 'relaunch' is actually code for 'hiked the price'.
Late last week I got one of those texts about a three-bed semi-D on the northside of Dublin city.
It was a nice house that I'd viewed in mid-February when it had a price tag of €400,000.
My snag list had a few small alterations that would be needed like new windows, but the location was good and it was the type of house that I'd like to buy.
I never entered the bidding though.
The reason for this is simply that 'guide prices' are now like starting prices in a mart.
They are not targets, as a naïve first-time buyer might assume. In many cases they are the minimum bid that will even be considered. At the time I viewed 'Property X' it had a bid of €402,000 on it, meaning it had already beaten the asking price. So I moved along to look at other options.
But clearly something has changed in the few weeks since and that figure is no longer enough. It's back up on Daft.ie with exactly the same description and pictures.
The only difference is 8.75pc in the 'guide price'.
Why the house went on sale at the lower price is questionable. A similar house in the same estate sold for €415,000 last May.
Another went for €435,000 in September, having had an asking price of €385,000. The reality is that if the sellers of Property X are looking for €435,000 now, they are really aiming for around €450,000 or more.
This is just one example in a Dublin market that has gone mad. As a country, we've been here before. We should know more than most how to deal with this - but instead politicians are grappling, builders are abroad, banks are unsure and potential buyers are yet again the losers.
The situation in the capital and the commuter belt today gives a whole new meaning to the 'boomerang generation'.
A few years ago that was a phrase coined to define young people who chose to move back in with their parents having previously lived on their own.
Now potential first-time buyers are looking at a property landscape scarred by the recession but with prices from the good old days.
The boom might not be back - but it would seem many of its symptoms are.