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.

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