Property interests turn out in force for conference


THERE WAS A large turnout in the Aviva stadium in leafy Ballsbridge yesterday for Property Industry Ireland’s first conference on our flagging housing market.

PII is a newly established lobby group that is affiliated with the employers body Ibec.

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan did his best to inject some short-term impetus into the market by emphasising that the mortgage interest relief measures contained in his Budget last December would not be extended next year.

So prospective buyers need to get a shake on to avail of the reliefs.

Sherry FitzGerald told the audience that 40 per cent of sales this year were with cash buyers. Expatriates are also active in the market here, which is no surprise given the 50 per cent-plus collapse in values over the past four years.

The estate agent signalled that prices are stabilising somewhat in Dublin, where supply is becoming an issue in some areas.

Before the conference closed, Treasury Holdings Ireland chief John Bruder politely asked if there would be a change in tack from the National Asset Management Agency.

Bruder has more than a passing interest in this given the litigation flying between the two sides in relation to Nama’s decision to call in most of the developer’s loans earlier this year.

“In the short term, no,” was the polite yet firm reply from John Moran, secretary general at the Department of Finance.