Wednesday, 2 July 2008

How bad can the property slump go?

David McWilliams thinks bad...

When I read the silly valuations in the 'Irish Times' property section, particularly the "Take 5 at €400,000" section, I am reminded of the Japanese Imperial Palace delusion. Clearly a two up, two down in Rialto is not worth the same as a seven-bedroomed house in the Dordogne. Now that prices are falling rapidly, the idea that pokey Irish houses are worth more than French chateaux will look increasingly daft.

Ireland is the most indebted nation in Europe. Outstanding residential mortgage debt now amounts to 192pc of our total GNP! This is truly shocking and depressing when you consider that in Germany, outstanding mortgage debt only amounts to 3pc of GNP.