Saturday 24 March 2018

Editorial: Property market has a boom-time feel about it

Are we seeing another housing bubble?
Are we seeing another housing bubble?

As house prices rise at quite a dramatic pace and supply falls alarmingly, in Dublin at least, we are back in what is known in the property world as a sellers' market, a market that has a distinctive 'boom-time' feel about it. Nor does the property tax, which was seen as something of a cure for 'property porn', seem to have in any way dampened the Irish enthusiasm for buying and selling houses.

Just when you thought the timing was most unsuitable, along comes Bank of Ireland with an incentive for property buyers. The bank is now offering to pay the stamp duty for first-time buyers taking out a new mortgage. While this will no doubt be welcomed by intending first-time buyers – those who are lucky to be able to find a property at an affordable price – it is a trend that is worrying those who look back in anger at the heated state of the market that led directly to the property/banking collapse and left Ireland in the paws of the Troika.

It is also likely that, in the competitive world of banking, the BoI incentive scheme will be followed by others in the mortgage market, again something that will be welcomed by consumers and property sellers, but should certainly send a shiver down the collective spines of the Central Bank and the Financial Regulator.

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