Wednesday, December 31, 2014

31/12/2014: Irish Ghost Estates: The March of Zombies


An interesting recent article from the Irish Independent on the sad state of Irish ghost estates: http://www.independent.ie/business/personal-finance/property-mortgages/work-stopped-on-226-ghost-estates-across-ireland-30856439.html?utm_content=bufferd7e17&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Interesting, from my perspective, not just in the fact that 226 ghost estates saw no work activity in 2014, despite the uplift in property prices and Government prioritising completion of ghost estates. But interesting due to numbers it revealed.

Take a deep breath: seven years after the crisis set in, and nine years after building activity contraction set in, Ireland (a country of 4.8 million inhabitants) still has 992 estates (as in multiple dwellings developments) unfinished. And of these, 776 estates have people residing on the site of abandoned construction. But that is not all, 271 more (on top of 992 above) are not completed, but deemed to have been 'substantially completed' (which can mean pretty much anything).

Good news, 1,854 ghost estates have been completed. Bad news is that the Year Four of Our Government's Recover Turnaround, only 271 ghost estates have been completed, which means that at current rate we are looking at 2017 or later before we are rid of the ghost estates. That is a decade of physical scars reminding us about less than a decade of excesses. Of course, given growth in homelessness, the rising spectre of banks repossessions, the social housing lists explosion and other fine mess, non-physical scars will be with us much longer.

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