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  • Would a younger investor garner as much sympathy as Killiney couple?

    April 20, 2012 @ 8:48 am | by Edel Morgan

    I’m not sure if  the  most uncomfortable thing about the eviction of the Killiney couple from their home this week was the fact that they were two older people being kicked out of their home in the twilight of their years  or the fact that  while we hear about family homes being repossessed  we don’t usually get to see it up close and personal on video. It was an unseemly debacle with the bailiffs and Gardai at the couple’s front door  while the owners  were frantic and upset. And  then there was the pitiful sight of  Brendan Kelly shouting “leave me alone” “leave me alone” and the pictures of the couple peering through the opening in their tent .

    I can’t help wondering though  if there would be as much sympathy for  a younger couple with a bulging property portfolio who were being  evicted from a  multimillion euro house in an exclusive enclave.  And as for someone perceived as a former fat cat banker/developer/investor, I’m guessing very few would be  calling Joe Duffy in outrage.

    A few months ago I wrote a blog about the plight of  people who could no longer service a mortgage on an investment property and how very little sympathy there is out there for them. I pointed out that an investment property that isn’t performing is a dreadful drain on resources and leads to some falling into difficulty with the mortgage on their family homes.  I received no less than 52  comments, the majority of which poured scorn on the notion that anyone should have sympathy for a person that gambled on the property market and lost.

    It’s been reported that in  the late 1990s Brendan Kelly and his wife Asta decided to sell their  business  in Germany and return to Ireland, investing their money in the Irish property market.They built a sizeable portfolio of properties in the greater Dublin area.The couple purchased their Killiney home shortly after it was built in 2004 for €3.2 million with the aid of a €2 million mortgage from Irish Nationwide. Isn’t it curious that a couple, that would then have been in their 40s and 50s, would have been given a mortgage to the tune of €2 million in the first place? I didn’t see the mortgage application the couple submitted to the bank and I don’t know the assets they had to convince the bank to give them such a humongous mortgage but it strikes me that  this a case of reckless lending at its most ludicrous.

    The property is on the market with an asking price of €2.2 million.


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