Sunday, 5 April 2009

"Comical Ken" MacDonald and the property market

Ken MacDonald, one eponym of Dublin estate agents Hooke and MacDonald, is Irish real estate’s Comical Ali. Indeed, some of his attempts to talk up the moribund property market, despite all contrary evidence, would have had the former Iraqi Information Minister shaking his head in disbelief.

Despite MacDonald’s professed faith in the market's robustness, however, he is quoted in today’s Sunday Business Post offering his advice to the Government in the approach to Tuesday’s emergency budget.

Hooke and MacDonald were heavily involved in the sale of new-build, tax-incentive properties throughout the boom years, and no doubt did very well from it. So now MacDonald is calling for stamp-duty to be halved, and a deposit “top-up” given to first-time buyers to "help them bridge any gap between the mortgage and the purchase price."

In view of the implosion of the property market due to bad loans and careless lending, does a deposit “top-up” not seem a trifle reckless? And who is to “give” it? Remember too, that first-time buyers are currently exempt from paying stamp duty on the shiny new houses and apartments MacDonald is trying to sell to them.

But maybe he’s not trying hard enough? Instead of asking for Government help, maybe he should reduce the asking prices to a level where people are prepared to buy?

It’s a novel concept with which the Irish business class are obviously unfamiliar. It’s called “the market”.

Back to Gombeen Nation main page


Ella said...

Hi GM, Love the artwork!. This is the same man who by all accounts threatened to withdraw Hooke and MacDonald advertising from The Sunday Tribune over an article the then business editor, Richard Delevan wrote (ok the article was unsigned but attribute to him) about the slow sale of Ken's home (more than a year) and the fact that he could not hook(e) a buyer. The reason the house wasn't selling was that Ken couldn't accept that the value of his property had dropped and the article stated this. Much to my disgust The Sunday Tribune choose to sack Mr. Delvan rather than offend poor Mr MacDonald and forego his advertising. A quick trawl of the web and I'm unable to find said article. It's certainly not on the Trib site.

Is Comical Ken any more sinister than Comical Ali?

The Gombeen Man said...

I'd forgotten about that, Ella. I'd say a lot more sinister so... but what does that say about the Sunday Tribune?

Anonymous said...

mr GM as you know
there are bulls and bears, in this situation mr powers and chemical ken are bullish bullshitters acommon condition in dublin i believe in between downpours