CRH shares failed to benefit from this week’s statement, which indicated that 2006 pre-tax profits would be up 23 per cent. … Why did the market respond in such an off-handed way to the indications that CRH had turned in yet another excellent performance in 2006? Could it have anything to do with the fact that the Irish house price boom seems to be finally drawing to a close?
Second-hand house prices actually fell slightly in Dublin in the final quarter, according to Sherry Fitz.
Faced with incontrovertible evidence like this, the question is no longer if there will be a property market slowdown but whether we will have a “soft landing” or a full-scale crash in house prices.
Interestingly enough, the 3 largest companies on the Irish Stock exchange by market capitalisation are the two largest banks (Allied Irish Bank, Bank of Ireland) and CRH, with approximate market caps of EUR 11bn, 10bn and 8bn respectively (2003 figures)
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