You would be mad to buy a house now. In recent days the Irish housing lobby - which has hijacked the economic debate in this country and made an absolute fortune in the process - has started to spin the line that ‘‘now is a good time to buy’’.
First-time buyers, the most hard-pressed financial subgroup in the country, are being urged by banks and estate agents to take the plunge. Do not be tempted, because you will only be the lemming-like suckers who bail out developers in trouble. Hold onto your cash. Guard it zealously, because prices are headed lower - not just here, but all around the world.
Christmas 2007 will see the Irish property market in the worst doldrums in over a decade. One property expert reckons that there are now some 40,000 homes for sale and there are calculations that there are another 10,000 new homes either built, half-built or sold off (or not as the case may be) the plans. Whereas the building and property industry sat out the autumn in the hope that this week or maybe the next there might be a revival, the signs now are ominous.
In the new year, we are facing an acceleration of layoffs in the building industry as some developers - including some of the biggest - are stopping work on developments.
We had according to Lyons of DAFT in the Sunday Times, in October I think it was, saying that they had ‘in excess of 100,000 properties for sale on their site’! Therefore it is fairly safe to assume that there’s probably in excess of 150,000 for sale. And I haven’t even mentioned the empties!
That Sunday Business Post article really portrayed the Credit Union as an amateurish organisation of financial incompetents. I think they’re being a little harsh, but the thrust of the argument is correct.
People talk about the Ango-Irish/EBS/Irish Nationwide and the ilk as being unsafe. I think there’s a far greater threat of certain Credit Unions going belly-up to be honest.
I wouldn’t leave one brass cent in the Credit Unions and would advise anyone I know against it, strongly.