Irrational banking, non-competition creating profits unexpectedly.

That banking in Ireland is a little irrational at present is a given, however, there are occurrences in the market which will change pricing structures in the near future, interestingly, by trying not to compete for business, several banks will ultimately make the market more profitable for all of the banks, achieving almost the opposite of what they had hoped to do.

I’ll explain, at the moment we have seen widespread Sovereign Credit Retrenchment, that’s a fancy way of saying that banks who are bailed out by certain countries are only really focusing on their indigenous markets because it is those markets that bailed them out. Irish banks have done this, Irish owned UK operations are closed. Equally, UK banks here are doing this by making their existing business rates higher and their new business rates exceptionally high.

Bank of Scotland’s new business variable rate is 6.19%, a whopping 5.19% over the ECB, they are doing this to avoid lending, and they are also paring back LTVs so that you have to have greater equity in the deal to borrow, …

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Profit from the property slump?

An interesting interview on property prices (granted this is on the Asian market), on one hand there is Chris Dillon who is well versed property expert, and on the other you have Bernie Lo (personal admission: he is one of my favourite presenters on Bloomberg!) who is making equally valid counterpoints.

The interesting facet is that the argument for or against property is happening again, up to 2006/7 the argument was purely ‘for’ and from 2007 to now it has been totally ‘against’, the question is whether or not we are reaching capitulation or not, the so called ‘bottom‘ that some commentators are talking about is hard to spot, its like trying to read a road when driving by looking only at your rearview mirror. Having said that, a bottom call currently, is in our opinion, premature even on a global basis.

In Ireland we are seeing the over supply on the new build side become compounded by the existing stock levels for sale, job security issues and hardening criteria in …

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Banks ARE lending, just not freely or irresponsibly

I have read several articles in this week in our  national papers and in them the authors said ‘banks are not lending’ and in one it was implied that this was somehow wrong. A point of order must be raised, firstly, it’s not wrong and secondly they actually are lending, just not freely or irresponsibly.

The frustrating thing is that even after all of the fallout, all of the crashing property prices, all of the international crisis news, that so many people still don’t get it. Cheap credit and easy lending is what go us here to begin with, we won’t fix the Irish economy with more mortgages being freely available.

Lobbyists take note: While you might strong-arm or influence the Government (I don’t know which method lobbyists use but either way they are effective) into supplying money for mortgages via recapitalisation or Homechoiceloan or any other plan, the fact is that reasonable people will not sign up to it, they will buy when …

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House prices: movements and trends in Ireland 2008

We have said for some time that house prices will fall throughout 2008, we saw a recent article in the Sunday Tribune saying that house prices would fall a further 10% in 2009. Our belief has been for some time that we will see the most dramatic drops in Q1 & 2 of 2009 and that after that the speed of decent would slow down considerably, coming to a ‘no growth’ landing some time in late 2009. There are reasons for this which we will explain below.

Firstly we have to see the market accept the rationalisation that is upon it, sites like Irishpropertywatch.com are tracking the fall in prices, yet there are still well publicised people in the construction and business communities calling for government intervention. This must be resisted as must all irrational request on the government. They hold the purse strings but that doesn’t mean they have to spend until lobbyists or special interest groups are satisfied, they must instead …

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No Bailouts, no free lunches

If you were to describe the world of finance or investment as a ‘jungle’ then it would be a fair comparison to say that the first rule of the jungle, the core principle of it, and that which must remain as a central tenet is this: Investors who take a risk should always lose if that risk doesn’t pay off, equally they should always reap the reward if it does.

Seems simple right? Wrong, we are seeing the build up for a bail out in the press on a near constant basis, the majority of which is pointing towards the construction sector or the financial sector. This is all totally wrong, and it goes against any right thinking concept of capitalism or free markets.

Banks in particular don’t like regulation and press constantly for free market principles, so they of all …

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‘For what it’s worth’ the concept of property prices.

There is an unusual disparity at the moment in the property auction market versus the rest of the market, and that primarily lies in the level of houses being withdrawn from auction, in the Irish Times there was a list of properties up for auction, of note, and what wasn’t mentioned in the story was the degree to which properties are being withdrawn. Out of the 32 properties listed 20 were withdrawn, and that means approximately 62.5% must not have been meeting their required price.

of the 12 properties listed in South Dublin only 1 sold, this could be looked at several ways, on one hand the properties in on the South side may be priced into a market that is not accessible to most people to begin with (one listing was €12 million), another is that perhaps the prices there are just too high and they appreciated too fast.

In North Dublin and West Dublin every property listed sold, and again, this can be interpreted different ways, on one hand the prices are …

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'For what it's worth' the concept of property prices.

There is an unusual disparity at the moment in the property auction market versus the rest of the market, and that primarily lies in the level of houses being withdrawn from auction, in the Irish Times there was a list of properties up for auction, of note, and what wasn’t mentioned in the story was the degree to which properties are being withdrawn. Out of the 32 properties listed 20 were withdrawn, and that means approximately 62.5% must not have been meeting their required price.

of the 12 properties listed in South Dublin only 1 sold, this could be looked at several ways, on one hand the properties in on the South side may be priced into a market that is not accessible to most people to begin with (one listing was €12 million), another is that perhaps the prices there are just too high and they appreciated too fast.

In North Dublin and West Dublin every property listed sold, and again, this can be interpreted different ways, on one hand the prices are …

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Do you need a ‘Reality Check’? Property prices rationalise.

According to Britain’s largest property portal Rightmove.co.uk sellers need a ‘reality check’ when selling their according to a story published by Reuters. In the UK the unsold property stock has reached record proportions, currently it is seeing 35,000 per week come online, rightmove have about 90% of the property listed on the market on their site so it’s an even better indicator than our own versions which would be daft.ie and myhome.ie.

They have said that people need to embrace ‘smart pricing’, here we have taken to calling this ‘priced to sell’ or ‘price adjustment’ but in the end of the day the message is clear, drop your prices if you want to sell. The interesting aspect of the rightmove analysis is that many of the people advertising property are trading up and although they want to buy at a bargain they want to sell for the highest price attainable, its an interesting juxtaposition.

I think we are seeing the same thing in Ireland with sellers hoping for high …

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Do you need a 'Reality Check'? Property prices rationalise.

According to Britain’s largest property portal Rightmove.co.uk sellers need a ‘reality check’ when selling their according to a story published by Reuters. In the UK the unsold property stock has reached record proportions, currently it is seeing 35,000 per week come online, rightmove have about 90% of the property listed on the market on their site so it’s an even better indicator than our own versions which would be daft.ie and myhome.ie.

They have said that people need to embrace ‘smart pricing’, here we have taken to calling this ‘priced to sell’ or ‘price adjustment’ but in the end of the day the message is clear, drop your prices if you want to sell. The interesting aspect of the rightmove analysis is that many of the people advertising property are trading up and although they want to buy at a bargain they want to sell for the highest price attainable, its an interesting juxtaposition.

I think we are seeing the same thing in Ireland with sellers hoping for high …

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