Thursday, March 26, 2009

Irish economy crashes

In a world full of outrageous housing bubbles, few countries could match the Irish mania for property speculation.

The Irish bubble was driven primarily by a massive increase in housing construction. Holidy homes were a particular specialty. People took out huge loans to build country retreats, hoping to sell them later when prices rose sufficiently to cover the construction costs.

The bubble left the Irish countryside littered with empty bungalows. Perhaps as many as one in eight houses in Ireland are unoccupied.

The bottom is now fallen out of the Irish housing market. Construction, which depended heavily on the housing bubble, has collapsed. As a consequence, the economy is in freefall. Ireland now finds itself in one of the nastiest recessions in Europe.


  1. The less well informed right wingers have been saying for years that the Irish 'miracle' was down to the low corporation tax rate.

    As a rather better informed right winger I have been saying for years that the corporation tax rate had very little to do with it, it was a huge great scam based on low interest rates, relatively low starting point & EU subsidies.

    I was right.

  2. And the houses they built are butt ugly too. Could they not have at least called in the designers (Dutch, German or Scandinavian need only apply) and get some tasteful and energy efficient designs going on. The houses look like the demon spawn of a crappy London exurbia crap box with an American monster home. UGLY!

  3. When is St Patrick's day ?

    I think I'll start a run on Guinness and get utterly smashed. Two birds with one stone so to speak.

    Though I doubt McBroon's alcohol tax will help the boggies much - the folk round 'ere have taken to the wrong sort of crack.

  4. "Real" GDP growth is an interesting term. is it not? Any amount of build-here, fly-there, dine-and-drink-out consumption funded on too-easy credit which will take decades to repay, if it ever is repaid, is hardly "real" GDP!

    B. in C.

  5. Govt tax take 2009 = 34bn

    Social welfare 2009 = 21bn

    The Luftwaffe are about to land.

  6. B in C.

    I can see the positives here:

    Stay in - get thin - small bin.

    The road to recovery is pathed with un-intentions.

    In truth the UK has been in sufference to an ant-British meme for well over thirty years. Depression will make or break us.

    Believe me when I say I didn't want it to get this far, but it has.

    Bring it on.
    (The Tories would be mad to win the next election)

  7. Of course I meant 'rally' and not 'run' in my comment @ 17.26.

    T' be sure, t' be sure.

  8. Irina from Dublin said...

    "The Luftwaffe are about to land."

    They always were welcome in Dublin.

  9. "And the houses they built are butt ugly too."

    Hahaha...I sure wonder what the prices are now. If I had enough money I would buy a whole village of empty houses. The prices are bound to go up sometimes.

    Take care, Lorne