It was an honor today to speak on the issues of Nama and the future of Irish development and construction sectors at the gathering of a number of architects put together by FKL Architects (see the site here). The panel that I was a part of was very engaging and, despite my disagreement with some of its members on the matters of policy, very informative. And the event, highlighted at the above site, was very interesting and engaging - some cool ideas out there, at least to my non-professional eye.
After the event, I was exchanging a couple of views with the representative of our construction sector, who agreed with my prediction that by the end of this crisis, Irish construction sector will shrink to no more than 5% of GNP or just 20% of its pre-crisis peak. And that the risk is for our construction sector to remain at that level (instead of rising to a healthy 10-12% level) for a very long period of time.
Alas, something else has driven me to a realisation that anyone who is hoping for stabilization of our property values at their current (or near) price is inhabiting an invented reality. This:
Now, think of this...
A four-bedroom, two-bath brick historic federal in Little Falls, N.Y., a city of about 5.000 on the Erie Canal, is on the market for $250,000, the house was built in 1827 and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Off the house's center hall are east and west parlors. Both have fireplaces.
Though it has been renovated several times over the years, it retains some original details, including mantels, and some pine and chestnut flooring.All four bedrooms are on the second floor, two with original pine and chestnut flooring and one with a fireplace and a walk-in closet.
Ok... I can go on and on, but... check it out for yourselves here. And all for €170,000 in one of the wealthiest states of the nation that is the wealthiest on planet Earth.
My prognosis - median price in Ireland in real terms (2009 Euros) of €120,000 by the end of this crisis. Why? Because there is no reason why our average homes should be trading above 4bed historic properties in upstate New York. None.