Housing estates lie empty as Ireland’s property boom turns sour

(Source: Times Online)

Ireland saw the ultimate Noughties boom: year after year it was the home of seemingly unstoppable property sales — residential prices rose by as much as 20 per cent in some years — while developers colonised development sites around the key cities.

Des Boyle, a chartered surveyor who works with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, says that prices rocketed for many years: a four-bedroom semi in favoured South Dublin would have cost the equivalent of €85,000 (£77,400) in 1990, but by the height of the boom in early 2007, he says, it had gone up to €800,000.

“Everyone knew it was unsustainable, but people were getting frightened that if they didn’t buy now, they wouldn’t be able to get on the ladder,” he says. Developers responded to the demand by building more and more homes: 90,000 new homes were built at the height of the boom in 2006, compared to 20,000 in 1992.

Read Laura Dixon’s full article “From boom to bust: how Ireland did the noughties” in the Times Online (December 4, 2009).

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