Far out Friday: Ireland claims dubious top position

Ireland has recently taken out top spot in a competition no country wants anything to do with



If you’re feeling out of sorts after looking at this week’s HIA housing figures, spare a thought for the folk of the emerald isle: Ireland’s home owners have collectively lost an estimated €257bn (A$315bn) in property value over the last six years, according to the Irish Independent.

The 50% collapse in values since the country’s 2007 peak also means that, by the Central Bank’s own estimates, Ireland’s crash has now become the worst experienced by any country anywhere in the world.

The PTSB/ESRI Index, Ireland's former national price barometer, showed average house prices standing at €310,632, or A$381,313, at the start of 2007 – and the average loss to an Irish household stands at a horrific €155,316 (A$ 190,656).

One high-profile victim of the Irish housing bubble is boy band Westlife singer Shane Filan, who filed for bankruptcy mid last year after the collapse of the property business he owned with his brother, Finnbarr. Between them they owed more than €5.5m (A$6.75m) to Ulster Bank and Bank of Ireland in relation to failed property investments.

 Not everyone who owned property suffered anything near the same scale of loss in value, however. While those renting out their homes avoided a hit, multiple property owners, such as landlords and local authorities, experienced the biggest losses on residential values.

However, further adding to the glum outlook, Davy chief economist, Conall Mac Coille, recently claimed Irish home values could have already shed as much as 60%. If this were true, then the average property owner has, in fact, lost the equivalent of A$ 228,787.


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