The Goldilocks problem of Irish housing: it’s never just right

Sweet spot of falling prices and greater supply comes courtesy of economic earthquake

Rents fell by 2.1 per cent on average last month compared to March, the biggest one-month decline in over 11 years. Photograph: Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Rents fell by 2.1 per cent on average last month compared to March, the biggest one-month decline in over 11 years. Photograph: Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images

We’re about to enter a period of falling house prices and rents, combined with a pick-up in supply, the biggest in over a decade. That means more homes at more affordable prices. In other words, the housing market we’ve always wanted. The only problem is, we’ve had to crash the economy to get it. Just like in 2008, the affordability dial is shifting back towards the consumer but only in the context of a wider economic collapse. A pyrrhic victory if ever there was one.

Left to its own devices the property market here doesn’t produce affordable homes, not for people on lower and middle incomes anyway – we need economic earthquakes for that. And already analysts are warning that a softening of prices due to the pandemic will dampen supply up the line, as it did after 2008.

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