Rising House Prices No Cause for Celebration

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The madness that is Dublin housing bubble being rapidly re-inflated need to be opposed, not celebrated. Unlike estate agents & the media we recognise rising home prices are not good thing. Unaffordable homes are going to make things much harder for those in lower paid employment in particular. And with almost no protection from landlords for tenants and rising rental prices this means many being stuck in insecure poor quality accommodation for years to come.

House prices in Dublin have increased by almost €200 per day every single day for the past year (and by €220 a day in the past month). Figures released by estate agents DNG reveal that the average cost of a home in Dublin is €349,000 – an increase of €71,000 since this time last year.

Even more frighteningly, prices at the lower end of the market (less than €250,000) are increasing at a faster rate than more expensive houses. This clearly affects people in lower paid employment and those struggling to buy a home disproportionately.

Paying for our homes – whether we do so through mortgage or rent – is the single greatest outgoing from our wage packets every fortnight or month. But while the price of housing goes up at these exorbitant levels, wages are at best stagnant or increasing very slightly, while many workers are still being forced to accept even more wage cuts. 

Only a fool then would believe that it is in our interest for house prices to increase at these ridiculous levels. A fool or someone who has a vested interest in the ‘property market’….. 

Speaking of which, let’s look at what our friends in DNG have to say about it:- “The sharp price rises experienced at the entry level price bracket and properties located in west Dublin, in particular, is good to see,” says Keith Lowe, chief executive. “These have been slower to recover than other areas and price categories and are now playing catch-up with the rest of the market.”

The phraseology and terminology used is revealing. For us, people are trying to buy homes for their families, and prices increasing makes that more difficult. For ‘the industry’, lower house prices are an illness that must be “recovered” from. 

What we see as homes, they look on as “..entry level properties…”, ‘entry-level’ presuming that these are not homes that we will live in for the rest of our lives. 

And we’re sure that families struggling to find the extra money being screwed out of their ever diminishing wage packet every month will be glad to know that they are contributing to the game of “… catch-up with the market.”

We would of course expect no less from industry experts. It’s the fact that practically every media outlet in reporting on this story presents the story in a way that celebrates the ‘recovery’ in the property market as a good thing, and interviews industry insiders as supposed independent experts that annoys us. Although regular readers of articles posted on this page will know that we know better than to expect unbiased coverage of issues affecting working class people from our media spindoctors…..

Just look at 3 events this week

• Focus Ireland noted that at least one family a day are being made homeless in Dublin alone
• Newly-appointed Labour Party Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly said that rent controls would not be introduced because he wants to maintain ‘confidence in the market’
• The Central Statistics Office produced figures saying that house prices in Dublin have increased by almost 25% in the past year

and ask yourself in whose interest our society is being run