Baby boomers and property prices


Sir, – It is seldom, when reading a newspaper, that one is shocked, surprised and made to burst out laughing all in one go. Yet this is what Conor Skehan, the outgoing chairman of the Government’s Housing Agency, did to me with his analysis of the current housing shortage (“Baby boomers distorting housing market, agency claims”, News, December 28th).

He is very clear as to what group of people contributes significantly to the problem – readers of The Irish Times. Apparently, a lot of readers own their home, a second house and probably a holiday home and therefore are part of the cause of the shortage of housing in this country. Good grief, what a load of generalised rubbish. And there I was thinking it was to do with the low number of houses being built annually.

One could be highly offended by such drivel from Mr Skehan, but due to its comic effect the anger tends to recede quickly. He then suggests that the readers need to look into their muesli and ask themselves are they part of the problem or the solution. To be honest I can’t do this as I eat Weetabix in the morning, and if I started staring at it, asking myself such stupid questions, I would actually have a problem. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 16.

Sir, – Conor Skehan’s comments on baby boomers who have seen their house prices escalate are trite and ill informed. We saw the values of our modest semi-detached homes (bought with loans at eye-watering levels of interest and serviced by modest incomes), soar to ludicrous levels over 30 years and when the collapse came, saw these prices drop by up to 50 per cent.The discussions at dinner parties (which we host most evenings!) rejoiced (chattered, even!) in the fact that young families were able to move back in and bring new life to the area. We take no pleasure in seeing those values soaring again, as it does no real favours either to the blameless boomers or those new young families priced out of the older totally overvalued housing stock. – Yours, etc,



Co Dublin.