I am re-publishing a piece I posted nearly two years ago. Because I am shaken by how quickly the property bubble has burst - but not in the way I expected. We have brought a lot of extra problems on ourselves by fact of our government allowing the housing speculation and unbridled greed to run riot like Australian wild fires.
The Bubble will BURST!
I am again tempted to write leakage material outside the general parameters of this blog. What has sparked this rant is a news item on EuroNews about squatters in Barcelona.
The phenomena of squatting has grown along with the drastic rise in property prices coupled with a growing number of vacant properties. Squatting in Barcelona is a growing movement with its own theatre, newspaper and community centre.
This rang immediate alarm bells in my head.
The property situation in Ireland is much the same. With 25% of newer homes are vacant why? House prices in Ireland are up to 60% above real values why?
The situation is almost at the critical mass point, like a nuclear reactor where the control rods have been removed and the mass of uranium exceeds fission starting levels and the whole thing is set to explode like Chernobyl.
What are the factors.
IMHO I see the elements as follows:
1. The dispossessed, the young couples who cannot afford the artificially inflated house prices. 2. The property speculators who have money to buy and speculate on many homes keeping the prices inflated and keeping the properties out of use. 3. Lack of proper Government controls. 4. Lack of proper housing initiatives by the government.
IMHO a Squatters Movement would be Justified Morally in Ireland
I am amazed there has not been a radical seizure of empty speculative properties in Ireland by squatters. They have every rational justification for so doing. The housing situation is a disgrace and an embarrassment to the country. it has made the rich into the super rich, while denying homes to the less well off. One in one hundred 1% of Irish are millionaires - I would only guess that many of these have made the money on property speculation.
It is about time to place a punishing tax on second homes and on property speculation. It is also time for a MASSIVE housing plan for Ireland.
Ireland is a country for the rich, not the poor.
We the Irish have detached ourselves from our history and our Christian past to become "empire builders" within our own land. The Irish empire consists of property and money. The new peasants, fuzzy-wuzzies and wogs of this Irish "Empire"are the poorer Irish. Some Irish are also empire building overseas with this property fever.
Slavery in Ireland
There are two forms of slavery being perpetrated in Ireland at this time.
1. The inexcusable sex trade where children are trafficked into and through this country, currently over 300 non-national children on the missing list in Ireland. This is a total disgrace to Ireland.
2. The young couples who sign up essentially as indentured slaves for 20 to 30 years of their lives in order to get a house to live in. They are borrowing sometimes at 100% mortgages and amounts equal to a 15 full years salary. If the slightest thing goes wrong with the economy or with their health - they will end up in negative equity and financially enslaved for the rest of their lives.
And there was I thinking that slavery was outlawed in the civilized world!!!
The current situation is immoral and cannot be allowed to last.
As the financial structure of Ireland rapidly disintegrates all around us, I wonder if the ensuing depression will bring some sense of reality and fairness back into our lives.
We had lost the run of ourselves during the "Celtic Tiger" in Rip-Off Ireland.