Negative interest rates are both gone and here at the same time.

Many commentators are talking about the end of negative interest rates in nominal terms and it’s true, interest rates are rising but in real terms they are still negative. Look at mortgage rates (for instance), you can borrow at 3% and below and meanwhile you have property price appreciation at 15% meaning that in real terms you are paying -12%.

If you can ever get something on a continuous basis at -12% that indicates ‘buy’, and that’s what people are doing, but notice that we mentioned ‘continuous’, the reality is that there is no arbitrage most of the time and this will be closed down by either rising costs, falling prices or some other outcome that we can’t forsee. Trees don’t grow to the sky, they never have and never will so the trajectory of house prices must rationalise but it’s hard to see how or where at present because the demand side seems so demonstrably strong.

I bumped into Kieran McQuinn on Pearse Street today and in our brief chat mentioned how the price changes are not sustainable, he …

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