Thursday, 28 January 2010

Knock down ghost estates, says IAVI head.

It’s a question often asked on Gombeen Nation: “Where else would you get it?”. 

The head of the Irish Auctioneers and Valuers Institution has suggested that the only thing for some of the nation’s empty housing developments and apartment complexes might be to knock them down.

While the blog is not critical of the notion of flattening the “Celtic Tiger” follies dotting our lovely little Gombeen land, it is critical of the Government and local councils for actively encouraging their construction in the first place. 

Some estimates put the number of empty dwelling units in Ireland at 300,000 –  in no small measure thanks to the Government’s property-based tax incentives which whipped up an investor frenzy, where budding tycoons bought houses and apartments off  the plans in godforsaken shitholes where nobody would ever want to live.  Ever.

According to the Sunday Independent,  the IAVI head spoke to  reporters at that organisation’s annual conference last Friday, saying that as a result of poor planning and a lack of infrastructure some of the country’s newer housing stock may never be required.

Scuppering hopes of the Government buying the ghost estates from their builder buddies for use as social housing, she said:   “… that housing might be in locations where it’s not required.  Is it fair to ship people out to that location just because there happens to be an empty house there?.........I haven’t heard any viable proposals about what to do other than to potentially knock down some of these developments”. 

After the Irish economic miracle that never was, maybe we can now save face and create the world’s first-ever deconstruction boom?

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Anonymous said...


Now there speaks a vested interest if ever I saw one. Heaven forbid that a glut of housing might lead to cheap houses where the auctioneer’s percentage for a sale is that bit less.

No, lets knock a whole lot of brand new houses down so the price goes up and the auctioneer’s fees along with it. Gombeens to the core!!!


Anonymous said...

I was really glad to see this report. Perhaps the sellers will be forced to see sense now. I was lucky enough to keep my job and the hubby and me would like to buy a house on a ghost estate (before you ask my friend already lives there) but they are still asking too much for one. Now that they can see just how many empty houses there are we might see prices fall.

Lucy, Navan

Anonymous said...


How could knocking then down be an economically better option compared to flogging them off for whatever they can get for them.

I work in Sligo, but I'd live in Leitrim and commute if they sold me a house for 10k


Ella said...

Hi GM, LOL here, yes let's be positive about this. Several thousand joobs were created building these houses where they were not needed, sure now can't we create more jobs knocking them down again. Just think of the knock on effect on the economy these deconstruction jobs would have, yes that's it, it would surely pull us out of the recession!
We could be leaders as you say in this field creating the first ever deconstruction boom.

On a not entirely unrelated matter, Aidan O'Hogan who is a former chairman of Savills estate agents, says house prices are still falling and that people should rent homes and not buy while prices continue to fall over the next few years. He believes the property market will take five years to recover, and then it would only return to 2002 and 2003 levels.

See full article in Indo of yesterday.

Anonymous said...

Either Fintan O'Toole's book or yesterdays Irish Times said there were 600 ghost estates- and each of the 26 counties have them-hopefully we will learn by looking at our Follies Anna

Anonymous said...

My message to Aine Myler (IAVI head) would be 'drop the prices Aine, you might be surprised'

Anonymous said...

Have a look at the good folk from the IAVI

They don't look like they would consider living on a ghost estate, and because they won't they assume we won't. I'd live on one in a flash if i could get a mortgage and the price was right.


Anonymous said...

How about this one. Give every school teacher, garda, and co. council employee the option of a free house in return for a 50% cut in salary for the next few years.

Anonymous said...

Ooooooh these people make me soooo angry!!!

The feckin' Auctioneers were right at the centre of all the ridiculous price inflation that went on in the Tiger years, and now they see fit to pronounce on what is needed now!!!!

Piss off IAVI why don't you!!!

John (very angry) Flynn, Galway

Anonymous said...

SMASHING IDEA GM,stunning brialliance from the most parasitic gombeen chancers on this earth,perhaps they should apply to brussels for a grant for such awsome creative thinking

The Gombeen Man said...

Our Gombeens are the envy of the world, Mr BH - it's what we do best.

That's correct Anna... and Leitrim has the highest number of units per head of population. Whoever thought it was a good idea to go on a building splurge in the least populous county in Ireland?

I think we should sit up and listen to this particular estate agent in the story you've linked to, Ella.

Thanks to all for all your comments, folks. I think the Irish building class still has to learn the basic rules of capitalism... but they'll never do that when the Government keep obligingly bailing them out.

And, as you've said, there's always the radical option of lowering prices to a level people will buy at.

Anna said...

The definitive word is Fintan O'Tooles book, Ship of Fools,
also recommended is Derek Brawns book Ireland's House Party- DB is an Irish economist however, so his book however worthy has a lot of detail
and stats, FO'T however is V witty and readable, someone even spoke me to me today in a cafe and said it was excellent, when he saw me reading it....some of the educated & most intelligent in my work all seem to be readin g it.. not just hammers home the greed & stupidity of irish politicians esp. FF/ bankers developers but is a call to revolution. Some of this stuff is shocking- when an Irish millioniare developer got married on Aristotle Onassis old yacht Christina 5 yrs ago, not everyone knew it had been bought by rich irish businessmen. Or that us tax paupers, I mean payers had paid for a 20 million refit- which was all written off as some tax allowance. This sort of thing makes me think we should be twinned with Zimbabwe- and this lush wedding we paid for ( wedding costs 1.5 million, on top of yacht refit) was nothign compared to all the other banking / tax scams etc. The fabulous wealth of these scum bags was not based on their talent but by bleeding the serfs dry- so FOT calls for a Second Republic in the last chapter.
FOT notes '"JOnathon Swift leaving money in his will for founding a mental hospital for Dublin, noted that 'no nation nned it so much."
The government adapted Swift's satire to its own exercise in insanity:
We used up all the wealth we had
To build a ship for fools and mad
And, knocking,it proof against all shocks,
Steered it blithrly against the rocks.