Sunday Times Property MoneyComments - 2005

Posted by Jill Kerby on May 07 2015 @ 21:08

This is a selection of my comments about property from 2005

ST Comment – June 5/05


The projected 5% growth in house prices for 2005 sounds considerably more realistic than the crazy, double digit increases of just two or three years ago, and with absolutely no sign of an interest rate rise in sight, that soft landing in the property market appears to have happened. 

The collective sigh of relief amongst first time buyers can be heard from every major town and city in the land.  According to another piece of research conducted by Bank of Ireland, couples have seen their salaries rise by 64% in the past 10 years €39,251 in 1994 to €64,409 while sole applicants salaries are now €47,024 for men and €42,970 for women.

The April house price index has thrown up others signs that the property market here is calming down, even if borrowing remains very strong.  For example, 55% of first time buyers are buying second hand homes, the price of which grew at a slower rate 0.3% nationally than for new houses, which went up by 0.6% in April.

It isn’t clear sailing for everyone though and one has to question the wisdom of relying on an interest-only mortgage (as a way of keeping monthly repayments down) in a slowing market.

It isn’t inconceivable that prices may flatten out altogether in another year or two, which is not the best scenario for buy to let investors in particular who were counting on ever increasing prices to justify buying at a time when rental yields are also tight.



STComment June 12/05


It’s nice, in a perverse sort of way, to know that there are other people even more obsessed with the price of property than Dubliners.  A recent trip to New York showed that not only is the price of property in Dublin city centre a steal compared to Manhattan, but that our rabbit hutches are a lot bigger than their rabbit hutches.  In the world of property one-upmanship, this all counts.

With the average Manhattan apartment now costing nearly $1.2 million, what was surprising is how many people in tiny, but valuable, apartments are quite satisfied with their lot.  A survey in last Sunday’s New York Times showed how 56% of Manhattanites are satisfied with the size of their flat – despite the fact that a typical studio is about 400 square feet.  People with children are, naturally, less happy with their accommodation than those without, but once their kids leave the hutch, parent satisfaction levels rise again. 

Apartment dwelling is a relatively new phenomena here and while I suspect that an Irish equivalent survey would probably show that most Irish flat dwellers yearn for a house in the (inner) suburbs once they have children,  the cost of buying and selling is going to force more of us, and our families, to permanently adapt to apartment living if we want to remain in the city. 

One difference that gives us a huge advantage over New York apartment dwellers – and one has to wonder how much longer it will last – is the lack of property taxes or rates in Dublin.  A friend of mine who is about to buy a tiny, but lovely Edwardian one bedroom flat on East 77th Street for just under $400,000 will be paying another $670 a month in co-op fees and property taxes.  This is on top of her $1,500 mortgage repayment.

And we think property is expensive here…


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