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.


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., 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:

"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 (

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." post, 8 Nov 2006:

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