Tuesday, September 1, 2009

John Mulcahy, NAMA Expert

Irish Independent, 18 July 2007:

"The Irish commercial property market is extremely healthy, but the residential property market needs to take some fiscal Solpadeine before returning to wiser ways [...] The prospects for next year look equally promising"

Dail Joint Committee on Draft NAMA Legislation, 31 August 2009:

"...while my natural humility gets in the way, I have been a bear for the past four years."

(I believe that 31 August 2009 is 2 years and 1 month after 18 July 2007- CMcK)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Liz O'Kane, Property TV Show Presenter

RTE webchat, 10 May 2007:

"My advice is to buy now. Whatever monies people have in their back pockets for stamp duty and should the next government abolish stamp duty for first timers this will simply put the price of properties for first time buyers... UP!"

"Should stamp duty be abolished it will get the market moving again and yes, prices will rise to the tune of whatever stamp duty would have been paid. I suggest buying now before buyers come back to the market."

"The market will come back and anywhere within good proximity to the city is still holding it's value."

"[The property market] has already has slowed down, although most properties in the Dublin area are holding on."

"No... I don't think any government can afford to let [a property market] crash happen. A levelling off is what we are seeing."

"I find it amusing that the Irish could be paying well over the odds for property for the last ten years."

Sunday Tribune, "Does Investing in Property Still Make Sense", December 2007:

"I'm not an economist but I firmly believe that the market has levelled off and that we'll not see any more price drops in 2008. The recent reform to stamp duty will prove that."

Oops: "HOUSE PRICES in Dublin fell by 16.5 per cent on average last year, and estate agents forecast a further decline of about 10 per cent in 2009."

The Afternoon Show, RTE 1 TV, 15 October 2008

"There was a crazy frenzy going on, the market has realigned, it is correcting itself. [...] There's never been a better time to buy [...] The bottom of the market is very very close. [...] I would think there's great value out there now."

Ironic quote of the year, possibly decade:

"If your house is on the market for a long period of time - i.e, 8 to 12 weeks - psychologically there is negativity going to be thrown at it. Potential buyers - even though they haven't viewed the property - may say 'God, there's something wrong with that house because the board's been up such a long time'."

RTE Radio, Mooney show, 10 Feb 2009:

"we are not expecting double-digit reductions in 2009"

Oops x 2 (and it's only July): "A member survey by the Irish Auctioneers & Valuers Institute (IAVI) has confirmed that [...] prices have fallen 16.9% in the first half of 2009."

Interview with Sean Moncrieff, Newstalk radio, 4 Jan 2010:

O'Kane: I mean, those clients coming on my book this month say "Good Lord, I can afford to live in good, mature areas of the city and I could never have dreamt about that two years ago. MISSING Down in south Wicklow commuting, not that there's anything wrong with those counties, I hasten to add. It's the commute that's the travesty.

Moncrieff: That's interesting, but if interest rates go up again, that might affect that....

O'Kane: I'm not an economist, so let's not talk about interest rates.

Moncrieff: OK.

O'Kane: Moving swiftly along, so hope you don't mind.

Moncrieff: OK, a good cop-out though: "I'm not an economist". But interest rates will go up though.

O'Kane: But sometimes I don't think economists know what they're talking about.


O'Kane: Positive thinking: ask, believe, receive(*). Do not let the mind go to the dark side. 2010 is going to bring great things for us.

Moncrieff: Is it roughly based on Star Wars?

O'Kane: No, the dark side of your mind. Based on.... Don't listen to negative people. If you can avoid them, don't listen to them.

Moncrieff: OK. Under any circumstances whatsoever?

O'Kane: Under any circumstances.

Moncrieff: Say they say you have a terminal disease.

O'Kane: Well.... sorry?

Moncrieff: *laugh* Well, you have a terminal disease. Is that listening to a negative person? Or there an upside to that?

O'Kane: Well, thankfully I won't be hauled into anybody to tell me that, and neither will the majority of us, all going well.

Moncrieff: Well, yes, all going well, indeed... *laugh*

O'Kane: Now, that's really kind of far out there.

Moncrieff: No, I thought I'd throw it out there, testing your theology in a theoretical situation.

(*) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_of_Attraction

The phrase Law of Attraction, used widely by New Thought writers, refers to the idea that thoughts influence chance. The Law of Attraction argues that thoughts (both conscious and unconscious) can affect things outside the head, not just through motivation, but by other means. Essentially, "if you really want something and truly believe it's possible, you'll get it", but putting a lot of attention and thought onto something you don't want means you'll probably get that too.

Widespread popular interest in the Law of Attraction reached its peak after the release of the The Secret, a 2006 film by Australian television writer and producer Rhonda Byrne. [...]

Various scientists have stated that many of the Law's claims are impossible, violating scientific principles and a scientific understanding of the universe.

The Secret lists three required steps — "ask, believe, receive" — as the essence of the Law of Attraction.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Marie Hunt, Head of Research, CB Richard Ellis

Irish Independent, 1 June 2005

Marie Hunt, director of Research at CBRE Gunne spoke, predicted that the average price of a three-bedroom semi in Ireland will have hit €400,000 by 2015 while at that stage a similar property in Dublin is likely to cost in the order of €525,000.

BusinessWorld.ie, Jul 31 2006

"The second hand housing market is showing signs of price stablisation but some new home buyers are getting nervous because of interest rate movements. This is more indicatative of a steady transition to more stable condition than a sign of a crash or bubble bursting."

Press Release, 17 April 2007:

Property consultants CB Richard Ellis today dismissed last nights Future Shock – Property Crash’ programme, which explored the possibility of a housing market crash in Ireland over the next few years, as ‘irresponsible journalism’.


...they say that we should not be entertaining negative speculation and unfounded worst-case doom and gloom scenarios when all that is being experienced is a levelling in the extraordinary pace of growth we previously experienced. They say that last nights programme should be dismissed as fiction and that a soft landing for the Irish housing market is still possible and is the most likely scenario.


According to Marie Hunt, Director of Research at CB Richard Ellis “The property market is in simple terms a sub-set of economic activity and the fundamentals that have been driving the Irish housing market for many years now are completely unique and cannot be compared to other economies. No other country can boast the levels of economic growth that have been witnessed in Ireland in the last decade; no other country has generated the level of employment generation that Ireland has seen; no other country has seen the phenomenal population growth and levels of immigration that Ireland has witnessed and no other economy can match the decline in the average household size that has materialised in Ireland in recent years. It is simply technically incorrect to assume that that Irish house prices will decline significantly simply on the basis that this has occurred in other economies where the fundamentals were so different. It is also irresponsible to suggest that the ‘negative equity’ scenario that occurred in the late 1980’s in the UK could occur in Ireland considering that Irish lending institutions are working under the remit of the Central Bank and continue to stress-test potential borrowers to 2% above ECB rates. The sensationalist approach of last nights programme is in our view irresponsible as property is a very important issue and ultimately the general public will take the sentiments expressed last night on board when deciding whether or not to make what will essentially be the biggest financial decision of their lifetime. Would-be first time buyers who have heeded equally dramatic and incorrect predictions in the past have lost out significantly as they ‘sat on the fence’ and watched prices escalate because of the underlying fundamentals in Ireland. All we ask is that the media consider these fundamentals and adopt a balanced, informed and considered approach when dealing with such an important issue”.

Western People, October 10 2007:

Ms Hunt gave a fascinating insight into the current state of Ireland’s property industry and expressed confidence that the oft-predicted bust would not occur at any stage in the near future. While there would be a slowdown she was confident that the property sector was destined for a ‘soft landing’.

“There has been a definite slowdown in the residential sector and that was to be expected. We were never going to have a sitaution where property prices would continue to grow by up to 20 per cent per annum.


“Property will continue to appreciate but it will be at far more moderate levels and there is likely to be less investment amongst speculators in the residential property sector.

Kevin Murphy, Irish Independent Journalist

Irish Independent, 28 Jan 2007:

"THE soft landing for Irish house prices would appear to be official.

Last week, the consensus was that house prices would rise by about 5 per cent in 2007. The IAVI, Gunnes and IIB Bank believe we are on course to do what many thought was impossible. We are climbing down from heady heights in an orderly fashion.

And thank goodness for that."

Sean Dunne, Property Developer

Irish Times, 27 Sep 2008:

Speaking in 2006:

"every economist associated with every stockbroker in Ireland mistakenly forecast the end of the housing and property boom in Ireland". They had been "vociferous and repetitive", in the process encouraging outside commentators, including the Economist, the IMF and the OECD, to issue warnings about Irish house prices being overvalued. Well, "The hyenas have stopped laughing . . . each and every one of them was wrong. Instead, the price and supply of housing units has continued to break records."

Dermot Ahern, Fianna Fáil Minister

Newstalk radio, Oct 15 2008:

Dermot calls the bottom!

"The housing market is at the bottom"

"Prime Time", RTE 1 TV, 3 Feb 2009:

"No one's really responsible. [The economic crisis] just happened."

Vincent Clarkin, Clarkin Properties

Irish Times, 27 Nov 2008:

"It's down 30 per cent from July '06. However, I don't think property can keep falling, and I'm optimistic that the slump will be gone by Christmas."

Frank Fahey, Fianna Fáil TD & Property Investor

Irish Independent, March 15 2008:

"If I was to give advice to people, I would say, go out and buy some property now. It's great value."


"[I am] not wealthy by any means".

The Galway West deputy, who either fully or partly owns more than 40 properties around the world -- as well as a share portfolio and an interest in a construction company -- claimed that his bank manager was not very happy at the moment.

Galway Independent, 28 Jan 2009:

"This is a great time for first-time buyers to buy. It is now a buyers' market. There is unbelievable value out there at the moment [...] "The banks are giving loans at the moment. But be ready to make your move."

Irish Times, 1 September 2009:

"The property market will rebound... it has already started [...] Look at what the foreign banks have done to Ireland at the moment....

Irish Independent, 6 Sept 2009:

"With regard to declarations of interest, I confirm that I do not own any bank shares and that my shareholding in property has been declared in my declaration of interests and will not be of any interest to Nama"

Irish Mail on Sunday (via The Story blog), 21 March 2010:

"[A] clerical oversight"

Fahey explaining why he didn't declare a 50% interest in the construction firm Sage.

Newstalk radio, 12.45pm, 7 July 2010:

"All the assumptions are that property will go back up [...]

I have no doubt that NAMA will make a profit [...]

I heard economists from one of the universities making predictions and you can't make predictions about what's going to happen to the property market."

"NAMA will be transparent"

"I tell you one thing, Damien, [...] if I could get my hands on money at the moment, I'd be buying property"

Peter Wyse, Wyse Estate Agents

Sunday Independent, 6 April 2008:

"The time to buy is now. There is certainly great value in the market at the minute but it doesn't mean people can dilly dally."

Kevin O'Connor, Property Investor

Irish Times, 24 January 2008:

"The faint-hearted agonise over buying, hoping that prices will fall further. But don't wait, says veteran property investor Kevin O'Connor. Buy now, don't listen to the doomsayers."

[...] the slow buyers should gallop with fistfuls of money, borrowed or promised, to any buyer willing to part with a property at the market rate. Because - and this is Thursday's mantra - there be bargains out there, folks.


Far from stealing away in the night, these houses, apartments and new towns will be bought and sold over the generations, as these new communities become embedded into the fabric of a country re-making itself. They will likely increase in value at a graduated gradient, rather than the hysterical highs of the boom. Now is probably a good time to buy into that prospect.

Edel Morgan, Irish Times Journalist

Irish Times, 9 March 2006:

(Original link dead: http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/property/2005/0526/3863057227RPCITYLIV_26.html)

"One can only surmise what the average millionaire will be able to buy in Dublin in another nine years.

A pokey one-bed apartment in the outer suburbs? Or maybe a townhouse on a new development bought under the local authority's affordable housing scheme? Will the semi-d become the preserve of the multimillionaire while only the super rich will afford the luxury of living detached?"

Brendan Burgess, Founder, Ask About Money (askaboutmoney.com)

Note: In the interests of being sporting and fair play and because this blog believes in freedom of expression, we also direct you to this thread by Brendan on his web site (which he has since locked) where he includes other quotes as he claims the following quotes are "selective and out of context". Note that all this quotes on this page gives links to the original context.

Sunday Times Money section, 31 July 2005:

"The lenders who have come up with the 100% [mortgage] have balanced the risk. Of 100 people that take out these mortgages, maybe 95 will be okay and five will get in serious trouble and the banks can take care of that trouble."

AskAboutMoney.com post, 8 Nov 2006:

"You can find extensive, informed, articulate, balanced and entertaining commentary on the impending collapse of the Irish property market [at thepropertypin.com]."

AskAboutMoney.com post, 9 Nov 2006:

Further speculation about the future direction of house prices is banned on Askaboutmoney.

Irish Independent, 18 August 2007:

I would invest in AIB or Bank of Ireland rather than putting money on deposit with them.

Oireachtas Joint Committee on Economic Regulatory Affairs, 10 June 2008:

"The Financial Regulator supervises the solvency and liquidity of Irish financial institutions very well. Irish banks are conservative in their lending and none has been exposed directly to the subprime lending problems although all are suffering from the subsequent credit crunch. The Financial Regulator seems to have been well ahead of the game on liquidity reporting. [...] The Financial Regulator has won international recognition for its appropriate regulatory regime for the funds industry. It does not overregulate or underregulate; it gets it about right."

RTE News, 16 September 2008:

"Irish banks are very well regulated, Irish banks are very sound..... [...] we're going to look back in a few years at the state of Irish banks [and ask] how did we not fill our shoes with those shares?"

AskAboutMoney thread, January 2009:

Pat Neary distinguished himself as the Prudential Director of the Financial Regulator before he was appointed. Had I been on the interview panel, I would certainly have chosen him ahead of a 27 year old recent PhD graduate.

The academic qualifications of someone at a very senior level are of little relevance.


Sorry, I pay no attention whatsoever to Morgan Kelly who suggested burning the €1.5 billion instead of putting it into Anglo.

AskAboutMoney post, 14 January 2009:

More sensational stuff from Morgan Kelly in yesterday's Irish Times:


Apparently we are going to be demolishing houses now instead of building them.

But I suppose it gets headlines."

CMcK: *cough*: BusinessWeek - Ireland’s Bad Bank May Demolish Homes, McDonagh Says

"Ireland’s National Asset Management Agency may knock down some vacant homes built during the country’s real-estate boom, the head of the agency said."

Sunday Times Money, 8 Mar 2009:

If you’ve a real need to buy now – for example, if you are starting a family – don’t allow the fact that your job is a bit uncertain to put you off. If the worst happens, the government has ordered AIB and Bank of Ireland to lay off homeowners in arrears for at least a year, while other lenders must give them a six-month breather.

AskAboutMoney.com post, 3 June 2009:

I still believe, that as a general rule, it is a good idea to buy your own home. With the benefit of hindsight, this would not have been a good idea over the past 5 years.

[..] I have made it very clear that, with hindsight, it would have made much more sense over the past few years to rent rather than buy.

AskAboutMoney.com post, 11 Oct 2009:

"People ask now why did we not listen to the economists who warned of the housing bubble and the economic crash? [...]. Their warnings were dressed up in such stupid, sensationalist language, that it would have been like taking the economic forecasts of the Sunday World seriously."

AskAboutMoney.com post, 21 Dec 2009:

(In response to a Financial Regulator Consumer Panel report which accused the FR of failing to "adequately intervene to deflate a highly visible property bubble"):

"I just don't agree that we had a "highly visible property bubble".

AskAboutMoney.com post, 22 Dec 2009:

The paperwork for money laundering is hugely inappropriate. Under the law, Charlie McCreevy would have had to provide a passport and two utility bills. Everyone in the Irish Nationwide knew him. I would have no problem with them not complying with this law.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Austin Hughes, Chief Economist, IIB Bank

Speech to Irish Home Builders Association, 12 May 2006:

"In recent months an acceleration in Irish house price inflation has raised concerns that the property market might be developing in a way that threatens not only the stability of that market but also the health of the broader Irish economy. I think these fears are exaggerated.


I think it is only slightly provocative to suggest that a more pertinent question is to ask why Irish house prices are rising so slowly.


However, a range of supportive influences should ensure house prices will continue to increase. We expect house prices will rise by 10 percent on average in both 2006 and 2007. As a result housebuilding will remain a key sector of this economy."

RTE News, 14 July 2009:

"We are past the low point of the downturn, and things will get a little easier in the next six months"

Nick Hughes, CEO, Coldwell Banker Ireland

Sunday Business Post, 20 January 2008:

No one can truly predict where the housing market is headed, but I firmly believe that the property market remains well-positioned for 2008. Only the lucky few manage to buy at the bottom of the market, and once a market bottoms out it usually bounces again.

Nick calls the bottom!

I believe we are at, or within a hair’s breath of, the bottom and for that reason, it is now time to look seriously at the residential property market again.

Donal Buckley, Irish Independent Journalist

Irish Independent Property Plus, 9 May 2008:

Semi-detached house prices have turned the corner and are on the way back up. According to the latest Permanent TSB house price index prices for three-bedroom semis actually increased by 0.2pc in March.

Donal calls the bottom (for 3-bed semis)!

The turnaround, tentative though it may be, was forecast only last month in these columns when we predicted that this sector of the market would be the first to reach its floor on prices.

Marc Coleman, Economist

Daft.ie report, 2 Aug 2006:

"Despite some overvaluation in the market, [a downturn in the market] is unlikely. Two fundamental events justify the reacceleration in prices since this time last year. As last year drew to a close, the expected release of SSIA moneys, which began this May, became bankable as deposit leverage. The second more significant event was that at the turn of the year banks became much more liberal with mortgage lending policies. Old multiples of gross income went out. New, and more liberal, measures of net income came in. More important still was the lengthening of mortgage repayment periods - with 40 year mortgages now not uncommon."

Irish Times, 25 Jan 2007:

"All will be well - if politicians don't meddle in the property market."

"I predict that the market will turn itself around, with growth resuming by September 2008. This is not another kick start however, more a resumption of moderate low digit growth. By the middle of next year it will be clear that interest rates have peaked and we should see them start to come down by 2009/2010."

Irish Independent, 6 January 2008:

"Does all of this mean you should wait until 2009 before buying a house? For several reasons, that idea is nonsense."

"When I bought my own house in 2006 I knew it was slightly overvalued. Having just got engaged, my choice was to buy a property in an area where I wanted to live and in commutable distance for myself and fiancée, or to sit out the first years of married life in a 40sq m apartment. Speaking for myself, I have no regrets about my decision. "

Newstalk radio, Tue Jan 22, 2008:

"It's always a good time to buy a house"

Irish Independent, 12 Oct 2008:

In our own housing market, prices are now back to where they were in late 2005. Back then, those prices were overvalued by 15 per cent and a soft landing was still possible. Thanks to the lending binge that ensued, the landing now won't be soft. But, however bumpy, it could still be safe. [...] If fact can replace fear in people's attitudes, the housing market can stabilise early in the new year.

Irish Independent, 16 November 2009:

"THE next time you're walking down any footpath in Ireland with more than 10 people walking along it, I'd like you to conduct this simple exercise; visualise one of the people you see walking towards you with Guantanamo Bay-style orange jump suits, with hands, feet and neck chained together. That is roughly the share of people in this country suffering from negative equity at the moment."

(Presumably Marc himself is in a nice jumpsuit if he bought in 2006? - CMcK)

"They are victims of a vast network of misgovernance encompassing our land laws, our planning system, our spatial strategy, our system of financial regulation, and, yes, our banks. They are also victims of a State that plundered them for tax revenues."

(Perhaps also victims of media pundits telling them it's always a good time to buy a house? - CMCK)

"In Japan, mortgages that are passed on to another generation are common."

(So is seppuko. - CMcK)

Brian Cowen, Taoiseach

RTE News, 28 July 2006:

The Minister for Finance, Brian Cowen, has dismissed suggestions that the economy is too dependent on the construction sector.

Responding to new figures showing that the sector now accounts for 25% of Gross National Product, Mr Cowen said that Ireland still had a deficit in infrastructure.

Bloomberg News, 17 July 2008:

"It's important to point out that our banking system in Ireland is very well capitalised"


"It's coming off a very strong performance over the last 11, 12 years, very strong profits"


"Our governor of our Central Bank in a report this week has confirmed the healthy nature of our banking system, as I say, well capitalised.


"We don't have the exposure, any significant exposure in the sub-prime US sector, which has caused a lot of the problems originally and I think it's important to point that out.


"I think one of the issues that's been affecting market sentiment with the share price for those companies has been a perception about exposure to the construction industry, in terms of the correction that's taken place in residential housing.


"I think it's important to point out that the underlying fundamentals of the economy remain very strong and in the absence of that particular sector, we would have seen growth of 4% in the first six months.

Irish Independent, 1 July 2009:

Biffo calls the bottom!

Mr Cowen said the slump in the housing market was nearing an end. "I believe we are coming to a point this year where that will bottom out," he said.

Ronnie O'Toole, National Irish Bank (NIB) Economist

RTE, 8 April 2008:

National Irish Bank's quarterly report on the economy says house prices have almost 'bottomed out' and in the second half of this year sales activity will return to normal.

NIB's economist Ronnie O'Toole, author of the bank's report, says the housing market in bigger cities will recover quicker than rural parts of the country.

'While supply continues to retrench, there are signs that housing demand might finally be stabilising,' Dr O'Toole said.

Ronnie calls the bottom!

'House prices are bottoming out some 15% off their 2006 peak levels and a more normal level of activity will return to the market in the second half of the year,' he added.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Mark Fitzgerald, CEO, Sherry Fitzgerald

Pat Kenny, RTE Radio 1, 29 Jun 2009

"I think probably 7 or 8 years ago [since we had a normal property market]"

"[50% drop] is a rapid correction"

"I think the correction is very very far advanced.... Houses prices have fallen by 40 to 50%...."

Mark calls the bottom!

"I think what they're now doing in Dublin is stabilising, they're at a level and they've stopped falling would be my view."

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Gerry Ryan, RTE Radio Presenter

Gerry Ryan Show, 17 Feb 2008:

Gerry calls the bottom!

"Now is your time to go out and buy that house because they're never going to be cheaper. Never going to be cheaper."

Note: As of June 2009, house prices have dropped 14% since the time of the above quote; a person buying the average house will have saved €35,000 - or, 6% of Gerry's annual salary.

"Would the Real Gerry Ryan Please Stand Up", autobiography:

"I'm a great fan of property developers because I believe they turned the country around"


"These guys are really our merchant princes. I think there's been a lot of pointless tut-tutting in relation to the amount of money they've made. The likes of Sean Dunne, Harry Crosby and Johnny Ronan pulled Ireland up by its bootlaces and propelled it into the future"


"These guys rejoice in profit. And I'm not ashamed to say that I do too."


"I find myself most comfortable among those people. I also find myself the least wealthy man in the room."


"Bertie Ahern is, without doubt, more than any other politician in the history of the Republic, substantially responsible for the success of this country."


"My favourite sommelier was Pascal in Dromoland."

(Sorry, nothing to do with property, but I couldn't help but include it - CMcK)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Sarah Delamere Harding, Astrologer to the Stars

Irish Independent, weekend review section, 29 December 2007:

"Economically, I do feel the property glitch is a bit of a media myth. I think people should not panic."

Donie Cassidy, Fianna Fail Leader of the Seanad and Property Investor

Seanad speech, 10 April 2008:

"Now is the right time to buy. We have a duty to tell first-time house buyers, young couples with no previous experience, that there is unbelievable value in the marketplace today. It will not last forever. It is never the wrong time to do the right thing. I offer the House the benefit of my experience and my opinion which is all any Member can do. I will remind the House, perhaps in 12 or 18 months, when prices have again increased by 25% or 30%, that they were told this by the Leader of the House on this historic day, the tenth anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement."

Irish Independent, 16 March 2009:

In an article entitled "Senator defends gaffe on house prices":

"What nobody anticipated in Ireland was that the global thing was going to have such a downturn. Who would ever have thought in their wildest dreams that Lehman Brothers would go to the wall, that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would have to be bailed out?"

(Ireland was already in a downturn when Cassidy originally spoke - CMcK)

But you can't keep a good man down:

"Now is the right time to buy. [...] It's a fantastic opportunity. From a young person's point of view, you can buy a four-bedroom semi-detached house for €200,000 in the Midlands. These houses were €320,000 two years ago"

Irish Mail on Sunday, 31 Oct 2010 (via politics.ie):

"a personal rather than a business decision"

- in response to the Irish Mail on Sunday questioning him about the transfer of the family home to his wife.

Tom Parlon, Director General of the Irish Construction Industry Federation, Former PD TD and Minister

With thanks to "Bigby" for collating many of these quotes)

The Right Hook Radio Show, 3 Jan 2008:

"Affordability is up 10% in the last 12 months."

(Translation: Prices are down 10% - CMcK)

Question and Answers, RTE, 7 Jan 2008:

"A 20% rise in rents proved that the demand was there for housing"

(When Matt Cooper mentioned that 1 in 6 houses is empty Tom Parlon started to talk across Matt Cooper and to interrupt systematically - CMcK)

Newstalk Breakfast Show, 11 Feb 2008:

"We're at, or very close to, the bottom now and it's turning around"

The Last Word with Matt Cooper, 11 Mar 2008:

"You'd get a good house in Dublin now for around €300k."

(Tom also dismissed the notion of 250,000 empties - CMcK)

RTE Drivetime, 17 Apr 2008:

"Our fundamentals are good."

Irish Examiner, 24 May 2008:

“A lot of buyers have been sitting on the fence for nine to 12 months, our message is now is the time to buy, there is real value out there"


"There are 1.8 million home owners in Ireland, [b]it isn’t in anyone’s interest to see house prices fall further[/b]. If negative sentiments were to disappear, people could see that there are very genuine reasons now to have confidence and buy"

The Last Word with Matt Cooper, 8 Oct 2008:

(In response to the International Monetary Fund saying that Irish house prices are most overvalued:)

"The IMF do not know what they're talking about"

Newstalk, 14 Oct 2008:

"Now we see value"

(Also repeated that he still thinks we need 40,000 homes a year.)

The Last Word with Matt Cooper, Nov 4 2008:

Tom Parlon claimed that he had never seen a ghost estate.


Morning Ireland - RTE Radio 1, 28 Jan 2009:

This one deserves the largest font:

"We [in the Construction Industry Federation] saw [the crash] coming"

Speech At the Opening of the Parnell Summer School, 17 August 2003:

"Any measure giving the State the power to control the value of private assets would have major negative ramifications for thousands of property owners and would be a jump back to the dark days of the 19th century [...] Such an approach is gift-wrapped in an ideology somewhere left of Stalin"

Irish Independent, 28 October 2010:

"[My Ministerial pension is] the only bit of a pension I have and I'd like to hold on to it for as long as I can"


The former minister is completely unapologetic about using his political connections to up the odds, proudly describing how he's approached several ministers personally, including former PD colleague Mary Harney.

"I'm in and out of the Dail every other day, any chance I get ... everybody does it"


"There is not a grain of evidence that NAMA is a bailout for developers. Everything they have is being taken over, they're losing everything they have."

Is he seriously defending people's rights to live in trophy homes they can no longer afford? Isn't that a bit of a stretch?

"Certainly there was a degree of reckless spending," he admits before launching into a fervent defence of all the good developers have done.


"We've been destroyed in the CIF, my salary has close enough to halved"

Friday, March 13, 2009

Isabel Morton, Irish Times Columnist & Interior Designer

Irish Times, 24 April 2008:

"The only people who are likely to suffer are those who bought a property at the height of the boom, in early 2006 [...] For the majority of us who have owned our property for three years or more, we can relax in the knowledge that we were lucky enough to have benefited greatly from the boom years."

Note: By May 2009, house prices were back at 2004 levels:


"We all got such a fright last year, that we huddled up in the far corner of the field waiting for the sheepdog to herd us towards the gate. Well the property gate is open again. Not quite as wide open as it had been before, but open nevertheless. So let's get moving. You can never buy at the wrong time."


"You are right to be sorry that you didn't sell in early 2006 when you could have. And you are right to be resentful of your neighbour who did. And no doubt, you would give anything to swipe the smug smile off his beaming face."

Irish Times, Feb 5th 2009:

"Borrowers could sue the banks for lending them more that the recommended guidelines."

Irish Times, 19 Feb 2009:

"Are bolshie buyers bullying vendors?"

Irish Times, 29 Jan 2009:

"We ignored the warning signs. We never queried or questioned. We let it happen. And now we are desperately looking around for someone to blame. Some call for another general election, despite knowing that it would make zero difference. Others march in the streets, write letters to newspaper editors and make irate phone calls to radio chat shows.And a few sad, sorry and conveniently anonymous property bloggers have nothing better to do than turn cyberspace red with their bitching and berating of everything and everyone, yet have not got the guts to put their names to their tirades."

Irish Times, 5 Mar 2009:

"Perhaps, as has happened before in the 1950s and 1970s, large homes have, quite simply, gone out of fashion again, as we can no longer afford to decorate, maintain, heat or staff them."

Irish Times, 12 Mar 2009:

Isabel calls the bottom!

"MANY HAVE hinted at it over the last couple of weeks, but I’m just going to say it: THE PROPERTY MARKET HAS REACHED THE BOTTOM!"

Note: The following month saw the biggest price drops since records began (oops):


Irish Times, 12 Nov 2009:

"Buyers are the ones being greedy these days"

"Instead of vendors holding out for as much money as possible when selling their property, purchasers are now attempting to save as much as possible when buying a home."

Irish Times, 3 Dec 2009:

"Last weekend, I re-lived the decade, looking through my numerous box-files filled with property brochures collected over the years. Arranged according to area or postcode...."

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Bertie Ahern, Former Taoiseach & Leader of Fianna Fáil

RTE News, April 7th, 2006:

"The Taoiseach has said he does not see a great problem with the levels of borrowing to buy property. Mr Ahern said there had been predictions of a huge downturn in 2005. He added the bad advice given by so many resulted in some people making mistakes when they should have bought property last year. "

Irish Times, 28 April 2007:

"On the other side of the election we'll get back to normality. And I think that normality will be the soft landing. The construction projections were that we will move from something like 93,000 houses to 80-something. Now that's not going to create any kind of a difficulty."

RTE, July 2007:

"Sitting on the sidelines, cribbing and moaning is a lost opportunity. I don't know how people who engage in that don't commit suicide because frankly the only thing that motivates me is being able to actively change something."

Fianna Fail website (cache), September 2007:

"But there is no place for negativity. No need for any pessimism. Above all, there is no place for politically motivated attempts to talk down the economy and the achievements of our people across all sectors."

Irish Times, 19 Sep 2008:

"Bank of Ireland shares are € 3.80 today. Now if I meet you here next year, or the year after, do you seriously think Bank of Ireland shares will be € 3.80? I'd go out and buy Bank of Ireland shares . . . that's what I'd do."

Note: As of 11 March 2009, BOI shares were 22c (source: Yahoo Finance)

Bloomberg, 4 June 2009:

"I can’t remember anyone at any level telling me, ‘The banks are giving hundreds of millions of euros to developers, and they’re borrowing this at short rates, so if anything happens to them, they’re caught... I know some people say ‘you should have asked."

Sunday Times, 27 September 2009:

"[Sean Dunne]’s lost a lot of money on it. Sean’s just one of the guys. I know a lot of them, like [Jimmy] Flynn, [Noel] O’Flaherty and the Baileys. You meet the Baileys at Croke Park every time you go there. You can’t avoid getting a slap on the back going in from them. Most of these guys lost their shirt. I feel sorry for them."

Irish Times, 10 October 2009:

Anyway, it was the collapse of Lehman Brothers that did the real damage, Ahern insists. “That decision will in history be written as the biggest mistake that American administration ever made, because Lehmans was a world investment bank. They had testicles [sic] everywhere.”

Irish Times, 21 Nov 2009:

"Commenting on the State bailout of the banks, Bertie the Comic said "It's great to see, as a socialist, that all these things come around." As for the racecourse venue? "It's great to be here, we could all be back here on Stephen's Day. If you can't make money any other way, you can try it on a horse." It was a pity to see d'oul bank shares going down the swannee, mused the Bert. Then he looked at Sean Fitzpatrick and quipped "although I think Seanie has a bit left!" The audience almost needed oxygen, they laughed so much."

Ken MacDonald, Hooke & MacDonald Estate Agents

Irish Independent, 25 March 2007:

"As one who has been involved in the Irish property market for 40 years and has experienced every type of market scenario, I am totally convinced that the market is currently in good shape and that anyone buying now will do extremely well in the years ahead. There is no better investment than Irish property at present, and I believethat I will be proved right in this conviction.


Why do we allow scaremongers and doomsayers with unfounded pessimism and unbridled negativity dictate our thinking and blunt consumer confidence? The Irish economy is the envy of the world. Job creation is phenomenal with more than 7,000 new jobs being created each month - despite the gloomy attention given to periodic job losses in some sectors."

Irish Independent, May 2 2008:

"I would have no hesitation recommending any friends of mine to buy at the present time because with the sharp reduction in new starts, it is inevitable that there will be a shortage of supply in Dublin in the very near future".

Sunday Business Post, 7 Dec 2008:

‘‘Hopefully people will realise it’s cheaper now to pay a mortgage on a property rather than renting a property."

Ken (indirectly) calls the bottom!

Irish Independent Property Plus,