Life on the roller coaster

Does anyone remember the spectacular “boom and bust” here in Ireland?

That was the time when property prices were rising so fast that developers were buying telephone kiosks and converting them into shoddy apartments.  People were desperate to buy property as you could get a 25% return in one year.  Second homes became almost compulsory.

Then of course came the bust and the downside.

House prices dropped by 50%.  Hundreds of thousands went into negative equity.  Repossessions went through the roof.    Ireland became a country of “ghost estates”.  The greed turned to abject misery.

Guess what?

Thanks to our Glorious Gubmint we are into another boom-time.

House prices are rising at 25% a year once more.  People are queuing at the gates of new developments to snap up property before it’s all sold.  “Happy days are here again” cries the Gubmint.

Now of course the Gubmint is rubbing its hands in glee. 

You see, they brought in a property tax to help pay off the billions we spent on bailing out the banks last time.  That property tax was based on the valuation of the property.  Now of course the valuation is rocketing skywards once more and the Taxman is rubbing his hands in glee at the prospect of a bumper harvest.

I don’t know what my property is worth.  It could be five thousand or five million and it is totally irrelevant to me.  Property value does not exist until such time as I wish to sell or buy and until such time, my property’s worth is irrelevant, pointless and worthless.  Yet they are going to try and screw me because I could potentially get more for it now than I could last year should I ever wish to sell.  Bollox to that.

And what happens when this latest bubble goes pop?  Are we back to more bailouts?  More evictions?  More suicides?  What extra taxes are they going to impose this time, having already milked us for every cent we have?

It’s like handing the keys to a bank to a five year old.

When will they learn? 

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Life on the roller coaster — 11 Comments

    • It's quite simple really…..

      If an express train is speeding up towards the buffers, you apply the brakes.  If an economy is overheating you slide up interest rates.  Simples.

      But they can't apply the breaks here, as Brussels controls the Euro.  Brussels won't up the interest rates as Germany is still trying to recover from the recession.  This is what happens when you tie a bunch of totally disparate economies together and give them a common currency – fucking disaster.

      2008, here we come, again………..

    • Fair point.  My apologies to 5 year olds.  Maybe I should restate that as "like handing the keys to a bank to a braindead, incompetent politician"?  Oh…  Hang on…..

  1. Don't talk to me about Property Tax!!  I've just paid ours.

    We waited months to find out what was due, the first figures were wrong so they went back to be re-calculated and we're still paying more than the 'emergency solidarity tax' we used to pay which they stuck onto the electricity bill to make sure everyone paid up.


  2. I read the Telegraph article on Ireland's boom too and concluded that statistics about exports don't tell us anything about how households in urban and rural Ireland are struggling to pay bills and live in decent comfort. Economic statistics is far removed from the real world of everyday life.

  3. Once property taxes are instituted you never own your house!  You will always be paying your 'rent' to the county.  A  friend of mine owns her house.  She paid off her mortgage yet still has to pay the county $2400.00 a year.  That comes to $200.00 a month 'rent' she has to pay to the county!  Now what kind of sense does that make?


  4. The big problem with property tax is that it is difficult to avoid.  You can avoid income tax by hiding income.  You can avoid VAT by using the black market.  You can't hide a house though.


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