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

"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,