Grappling with the housing crisis: Fresh approaches needed


#967

What about people born in Dublin, and who’d like to continue living there. Or those from elsewhere who want to go to college there - the site of three of our Universities, and other third level institutions?

It is a deliberate impoverishment when exorbitant living costs make the above goals difficult or impossible.


#968

The eternal degrees and courses of varying utility are part of the obfuscation of reality-it provides an external cover story and internal rationalisation of why they can’t afford anything, just like the glamorising of “van life” is a PR version of itinerancy. I’m not insulting young people or trying to justify the cost of housing but wage stagnation, underemployment, and the race to the bottom caused by mass immigration and a failed left wing labour movement are probably more important factors than the headline rents or prices.
Today it’s accommodation costs; the next thing to spiral out of control price-wise due to privatisation and a deliberately tanked public service will be healthcare. Food is already experiencing shrinkflation-actual hunger is on the way and is already common in the UK. So explain to me how, if you live in a country where you and most of your peers are unable to afford basic necessities and the future holds no real hope of that changing, you are not poor?


#969

As I have said many times on the Pin, there is a housing crisis which is severely affecting young people especially in Dublin. But we need to be clear-eyed about the problem. If we imagine some kind of conspiracy to deliberately impoverish our young people, we will start tilting at windmills and chasing shadows.

I’ll shock you with a simple fact that no politician will ever say out loud. Young people today were the most affluent Irish generation ever before the pandemic.

That doesn’t mean they were living in luxury. But they had much higher earnings and far more opportunities than previous generations (even allowing for inflation). Let’s not destroy this economic success in our efforts to solve the housing problem.

Will politicians solve the problem or are they exacerbating the problem? An earlier generation of politicians delivered major social housing programmes all over Ireland, especially from the 1930s until the 1970s. Now our politicians prefer to buy 2-bed apartments for a half million Euro each and a lucky couple will get a golden ticket.


#970

My God. Affluent.

Is that a thing still. Was it ever?

Young people are poor, desperately so. Wealth is not measured in things its measured in happiness. Happiness and contentment for most is gone. It’s all so sad. Sad and avoidable. Avoidable yet predictable. It is by design.

Can you not see…


#971

True to a large extent but the various money taps that allowed this have been switched off and the rug has been pulled out from under them as we revert from nation state to a human farming operation. This is already visible in the most disadvantaged areas where the young working class male has been rendered lumpen and obsolete. The system wants everybody dragged down to the bottom now with zero social mobility or private enterprise.


#972

That’s not fact. It’s cant. And it’s Gen X denial as well. You probably don’t know many young renters. They may have the trappings of prosperity, but that’s not affluence. You must be forgetting KBC’s 2014 ad campaign “Miss Modern” who they literally showed off unable to afford a home or possessions appropriate to her age.

As for “major social housing programmes” - there’s really no point. Given the % of new homes that go to people not born in Ireland. And there’s no end to that supply.


#974

Which generation was more affluent in their youth than today’s young people?

Obviously not the emigration generations that typified most our history. Nor the 1970s generation, the first in our independent history that could find jobs in Ireland, when wages were a fraction of today’s (even allowing for inflation).

Again, this generation faces a housing crisis but if we don’t recognise elementary facts, we will make bad decisions and destroy what we have.


#975

You don’t get to ignore the facts by disparaging my comments. Call me a sanctimonious hypocrite if it pleases you but the current young generation enjoys material conditions which are better than all previous generations (incomparably so relative to most of our history). They do face excessive rents and have very restricted options to buy a home, mainly due to a failure of supply but that is just one factor in the overall picture.

I admit I did not give much weight to those KBC ads. from 2014. I tend to rely on the actual experiences of young people I know. For example, almost all of them have a level of education which was reserved to a small minority in the past. That is a wonderful benefit which we are giving our young people. Those who are working are (on average and pre-pandemic) earning more than any previous generation. That may change very rapidly, as it did recently e.g. for young Greeks and Italians.

Will this weekend’s G7 deal on Corporation Tax undermine our economic model? That is certainly the intention of its architects. And many of our politicians will aid and abet that effort by trying to strangle our golden goose.


#976

Youth unemployment rates are high, many others are self-employed in the ‘gig’ economy.

They may have some material objects, but the social media bubble in which they are growing up is horrendous for mental health.

Social expectations, including sending everyone to college until their mid-twenties, and lack of housing means deferred relationships, deferred marriage and less children. Less emotional (and financial) security for both men and women in the end.


#977

As a leading economist, I have an upcoming book you might be interested in, it’s called “Musks Children”, should be available from on-world and off-world online sellers. Watch this SPACE - it covers the dilemma of a nation that raises a generation of astronauts who can not afford to move out of their mammies launch pad, and so are enticed to Mars to seek their fortune. It turns out the Martians warm to the gra of many of the Irish colonists and so they go on to successfully interbreed and integrate into the Martian society, to the point in excess of 100 million Martian-Irish off-worlders lay claim to an Irish granny leaving many pundits rating Irelands future world cup bids to be out of this world.


#978

I would argue that my parents (born 1950s) did better than my generation. Here are my thoughts:

My parents moved us out of Dublin in 1994 to Cork. This was just before prices took off and the difference of Dublin v Cork wasn’t as large as it is today. We went from a 4 bed to a 5 bed for about the same price - 100K irish punts.

What did happen was my parents’ wages about doubled the next 20 years before they retired. We went from working poor to middle class.

I graduated from college just before the 2008 recession and managed to get a premanent public service job pre 2008-2013 jobs embargo. I have done well career wise since, saved a full decade for a house (23-33) which was highly unusual with my peers and managed to buy on my own for 330K because I had a big deposit.

Most of my peers in their early-mid 30s still cannot buy a house as the same house our parents bought in 1990s for 150K are now 500K+. Many houses 300K 2 years ago are hitting 400K now. They also struggled to find well paying jobs 2008-2013. My generation makes higher wages at our age than our parents but house prices and pirces in general are far higher. So are we wealthier?

My youngest borther is 5 years my junior. Didn’t save like I did and only started saving last 24 months. Even with a 2nd income they are struggling to save a deposit and house prices currently close to rising more than annual savings. He’s missed the boat imo and could be waiting another decade for the next big recession and price drops. He definitely doesn’t think he’s doing better than my parents at his age…


#979

I don’t say that our young generation will do better than their forebears, just that they are the most affluent young Irish generation ever. But not the happiest, I believe - perhaps they are less happy than recent generations because they have pressures and anxieties which were virtually unknown in the past.

When your parents moved to Cork, they were not young. Their generation had struggled to pay crippling mortgages (18% was common) and the 1980s were grim as mass emigration resumed. They could only dream about things we take for granted (pre-pandemic) - today’s wage levels, exotic holidays, new cars with James Bond equipment for a days work per month, the world of information and entertainment at our fingertips.

In many Western countries, including Ireland, the young fear they will not have what their parents enjoyed - a home suitable to raise a family. No wonder Irish fertility has fallen below replacement level (you didn’t know that? funny how the big stories never gets attention in our media).

But let’s not be deceived by stories of mass impoverishment. Let focus on the real obstacles to supply. A decade ago we were building around 80,000 units annually, now we build about 20,000.

There are many vested interests who benefit from the current shortage but that is no grounds for despair or desperate measures like paying a half-million Euro for a 2bed apartment on the open market for “social housing”.

And yes it would be insanity to guarantee “own door” accommodation to anyone who claims asylum here. We should guarantee them a very rapid and fair disposal of their claim and, if they are granted asylum, we should assist them in every way to bring closer that happy day when they can return safely to their homeland.


#980

Reproduction has fallen not fertility. Why? Why? Why?

Always cheaper and more productive to import from lower cost base than to manufacture. We have outsourced our population growth. To the combined lowest bidders. If you can’t see it and understand it so be it.


#981

Youth unemployment has long been a problem but we had reduced it dramatically pre-COVID, from almost 30% 10 years ago to about 10% in 2019. COVID lockdown hit youth employment very badly but it looks likely to bounce back as and when we open up.


#982

The Fertility Rate is falling, contrary to the CSO’s central assumption in its population projections.

Biological fertility may also be decreasing, especially male fertility as sperm counts fall but that does not seem to be the driver in the case of our falling Fertility Rate. Nor is the idea of importing labour.

Irish women are postponing pregnancy and restricting the number of births for many reasons but I think lack of housing security is an important inhibitor.


#983

Agreed. Some awful horseshit in this thread about how those that went before (with fuck all) had it so good…


#984

Good question.


#985

Yes, we are wealthier now than we have ever been, even compared to the mid-noughties when unsustainable borrowings gave a brief boost to our wealth.

And for all age cohorts. A claim was made here that the young generation were being deliberately impoverished due to the housing crisis so the focus of this thread has been on that age cohort but I think the biggest winners in Ireland’s economic success (yeah, success, I said it!) have been the oldest cohorts. Their pensions and other benefits are incomparably more generous than previous generations. We have little idea now of the grinding poverty which drove earlier generations to an early grave. In 1960, life expectancy was just 68 years, now it is 80. That is a tremendous achievement for public health, comparable to the improvement in education for our youth. Many older Irish people will look back on their youth as a time of joy and fulfilment but very few will say they were materially better off.

Will today’s youth enjoy in decades to come the benefits which today’s pensioners have? Only if we make sound and sustainable choices now. Our politicians will try everything else first. Look at the mess with increasing the pension age. And Slaintecare?


#986

How do you define wealth?

(I would argue that when a country quintuples its national debt within a 10 year period, it’s not a sign of wealth.)


#987

Ya here we are again at the same talking point.

From the foundation of the state say up until the early or mid 90’s at the latest you could argue and probably be mostly correct, that Housing in Ireland was naturally dominated by the following 3 forces.

  1. Family Homes.
  2. Council Family Homes.
  3. Emigration.

In short, a couple looking to start a family or house an existing/growing family.

(Paddy Tinker & Paddy Renter have been left out for this period.)

No great revelation here really, and affluence has nothing to do with it.

If you could not house yourself via point 1 or 2 you had option 3

However, point 3 was and is not a net positive, what it did was allow festering government policies and overall crap governance to grow to obscene levels of inability and incompetence, waste and destruction during the last asset/house-price bubble the most - where we are now very firmly on the far side of the collapse, you can clearly see it has allowed policy be co-opted into a anti-irish globalist end of nations model to housing that has grown to monstrous proportions few imagined and many still do not comprehend is the game on the ground right now.

Cutting to the chase, the simple solution to the problem is to put the throttle of the Ship fo State into reverse and let people who want to just house themselves house themselves and those who want to make a lot of money make it in the most net-positive way, i.e. we get what we need, SUPPLY nor does it have to be at all costs.

  • Roll back planning as we know it
  • Zone to shoot up toward the sky including profits
  • Supply is a social bounty.

Basically re-introduce the concept of FREEDOM and the idea people might know better how to house themselves than the output of process from an overpaid, bloated and totally failed system which demands it must exist at all costs.

Watch as your economy roars and stabilises. Birth rates begin to fix themselves and all kinds of other net positive things happen as a result of people living their lives freely aka economic activity explodes into action and you will never look back.

I know it’s a totally MAD concept.

To take stock of where we are now. I challenge anyone to write a contemporary 1-3 list as above and see how long it takes you to stop adding points to the list.

In simple terms.

When your Da was out looking for a gaff, he was probably only up against two things, the money in his pocket and other Da’s looking for a gaff and neither of those two things seemed insurmountable irregardless of your status or affluence.

You had a gaff, big or small. Fancy or plain.