I have seen some wild predictions, but nothing to compare with this one in the Irish Times. Morgan Kelly, a University College Dublin economist, reckons prices could fall by up to 80 percent. "Construction, but not demolition, of residential and commercial property will fall to zero for the foreseeable future," he said.
The casual observer might dismiss this kind of prediction as scare-mongering from a publicity seeking academic. Unfortunately, there is one killer fact about Ireland that makes the prediction credible - the country has something like a quarter of a million empty holiday homes. These houses are probably worthless.
80 percent? Could be; maybe; anything is possible.
HOUSING MARKET: IRELAND WILL see more demolition than construction of houses over the next decade, as the economy struggles to recover from the collapse of the housing market and the emergence of “zombie” banks, UCD economist Morgan Kelly told the conference. In a presentation that drew several collective intakes of breath, Mr Kelly predicted that house prices would fall by 80 per cent from peak to trough in real terms. Recovery will be slow: “It has taken us 10 years to get into this situation – it will in all likelihood take us 10 years to get out of it.”