Latest McWilliams piece about Deckland … 82561.html

Interesting comment attached to it:

For me it’s times like this that I’m glad I didn’t buy that house in Ballinteer.
Perspective is a funny thing isn’t it?


Don’t get me wrong, I like McWilliams, but some of the inconsistencies in his arguments irritate me. He starts off by saying that Ryanair are betting that oil prices will fall. He implies that he approves of this position, without actually saying so. The he says:
“As long as prices were rising and petrol was cheap, a nice house in the suburbs was an asset; today it is fast becoming a liability.”
Well, according to the start of the piece, petrol is about to become cheaper again. Maybe not as cheap as it was, but the mind is easily fooled (even if the credit card bill doesn’t lie!).

To my mind, what will drop the prices of deckland dramatically, as in the case of East Anglia, is that the houses are really badly constructed, layed out, serviced, connected etc. With much choice, the houses simply are not good value for money when location and build are taken into account.

The point is oil is only getting cheaper because global demand is falling: induced by a US recession. Which is even worse news for decklanders.

I’ve been a bit disappointed with David McWilliams in the last few weeks. He’s just been re-hashing stuff at an abstract, fluffly high-level.

I think he needs to concentrate on highlighting actual events like the Port Tunnel, ICG, etc.

I’d like to see him do a piece on the recent shake-up of construction industry here. We’re already seeing the vultures hovering over certain distressed companies. If McInerney gets taken over, we’re going to see half the residentially zoned land in Dublin owned by one developer.

Surely that would be a case for the Competition Authority?

Surely its a case for the competition authority now?
Surely something wrong with having the place carved up by so few
wanders off mumbling under breath

“its all wrong damnit!”

David McWilliams is correct - the outer commuter belt towns and villages will be the hardest hit by the house price crash. Tens of thousands of young couples and families will be trapped in their housing which is poorly located and far from amenities and decent public transport.

And the saddest things is that the Govt. just sat back and let this all happen.

The Pope’s Children, David McWilliams, page 100:

Humm. I like this guy as well but if he suggests we shouldn’t listen to his [expert] opinions about property, why should we take anything else he says seriously?

Haven’t read the book, but is the context that he’s been wrong about timing rather than wrong about the endgame per se ?

Whether he should be taken seriously depends on what you want from your expert. For me, all I want is cogent evidence-based argument and information. Grist for my mill.

After that I’ll make up my own mind. And having done the homework, I have the luxury of having no-one but myself to blame if it goes wrong.

By the way, is it a recommended read ?


That’s not what he said.

That’s EXACTLY what he said, word-for-word - I was reading it at the time. I gave the page number so anyone could look it up for themselves.
I agree with TUG though - not worth a read. Especially the last chapter about HiCos - was falling off my chair with bordom.

I’m guessing shanegl means that he wasn’t referring to being wrong about the bubble, but the specific phase we were in of the seven stage process.

From a straight reading of the quote -

  • the “this” refers to the “where” in the previous sentence.

EDIT - tidy up quotes

He’s just making it clear that it’s only his opinion.
It’s telling that he feels compelled to voice some sort of personal disclaimer to people who have difficulty in formulating their own.

I’m refering to your interpretation of it.

Bit of leap there tbh

DmcW has been saying for some time now that house prices are too high and not supported by fundamentals in the market. Having researched this myslef some time back (and posted the findings on the old OWL forum) I have to say that he was/is correct. There has been, despite all the huff, bluster and spin an oversupply of housing in Ireland for several years now, despite which, prices continued to rise. This, until very recently was the elephant in the room that was there for anyone to find if they botherd to go looking. As the hype continued and prices increased, the cry for a solution was led by advocates of increasing the availability of funding and tax breaks to the buyers rather than deflating the boom/bubble/madness.

McWilliams’ assessment is, IMHO, 100% accurate. His presentation style may annoy the more accademic minded but in terms of presenting an ecomomic position, from a financial, demographic and sociatial perspective, I think his books have been decent reads. They are not going to win any Nobel prizes for Literature or Economics, but they do make the issues accessable and understandable to Mick and Biddy Public.

If you don’t like DMcW’s (some would argue overly) simplified presentation style try leafing though McKay or De La Vega for their insights into the similar market phenomenon for a more meaty read.

Blue Horseshoe

McWilliams isn’t much of a journalist.

A fine writer, a good explainer of past events, certainly. A moderately good prophet, yes.

But a bloodhound who’s driven to get out there and find the story and present it to the public in a timely fashion? Not so much.

He seems to spew out some lazy crap (which is still pretty good in some ways) every week, bot only produces something that I consider up to his standard.

What, in my opinion, is his job?

Well, he’s a trained economist, so his basic professional justification is that he understands economic concepts which are somewhat beyond we laymens’ ken.

His gift is to take these concepts and, using illustrative anecdotes of situations with which we are familiar, make us see those concepts in action around us.

But that’s not the kind of thing you can easily churn out weekly, so we get these scrappy economics stew ramblings, constructed in accordance with William S Burroughs’s cut-up technique.

I disagree completely.

McWilliams is a visionary in my opinion – not only did he recognise what was going on (I’m sure a handful of other people also recognised the great Celtic bust), but McWilliams went on to describe what was happening in his writings in a humourous and and engaging way that appealed to the swathing masses of Ireland’s middle class.

McWilliams has created an economic personality that is both entertaining, original and informative – this just does not happen by itself. He created this vision, akin to the great work of an artist, by going against the grain, persevering with his ideas and having the creativity and personal drive to make it happen.

Like or loathe his conclusions, he’s a visionary. McW can now kick back and cash in on his labour because the celebrity economist that everybody is talking about over their KitKats, commands a very high appearance fee. People listen to what DMcW says. And as far as economists go, he ain’t doing too bad at the dismal science. He knows the story and doesn’t really have anything to prove, unlike others who desperately try to model themselves as “celebrity economists” – in McW’s wake of course.

When an economy is growing at about 8%, and house prices are growing at 20%, there’s nothing “visionary” about spotting a bubble. You only need an elementary grasp of economics and the backbone not to follow the crowd.

He is a bubble spotter wot explains about economics quite well at times. But if it makes you happy to call him a visionary, go ahead. I’m pretty confident he’d agree with me more than you, if only because he’s modest.

You’ve completely misunderstood what I meant by visionary.

He’ a visionary in the sense that he created the economic personality that is David McWilliams. It’s all very fine in hindsight to say what he did was easy – could you have created DMcW and sold countless books and be in high demand on the public speaking circuit? Not only did DMcW analyse the economy well, he also analysed Irish society in an entertaining, fun and original way – he certainly broke the mould of the national psyche and brought them something new.