Friday, March 28, 2008

Quotes of the Week 28/03

"I think the rate of price decrease over the first two months of the year is lower than many people might have expected. We are also seeing that some sellers are finally grasping the point that people are interested in buying properties if the prices sought are realistic. This in turn is leading to more market transactions when compared to quarter 4 2007.” - Niall O’Grady, General Manager Marketing, Permanent TSB.

"Despite the recent slowdown in the housing market, Ireland's household balance sheet is in good shape with combined equity at €388bn and outstanding mortgage debt of only 24pc of the value of the housing assets." - Gabriel Bannigan, Head of Halifax.

“This rapid supply response by the building sector is ultimately positive for the housing market but is negative for GDP, knocking 1.3 percentage points off the average growth rate in 2008. The global supply of credit may also be curtailed for a time and, as a result, we now expect a less rapid recovery in 2009 with growth set to pick up to 4%” – Dr. Dan McLaughlin, Chief Economist, Bank of Ireland.

"The gap between the prime city and prime suburban rents [commercial] has widened, if anything, thus making the suburbs more attractive." - Joan Henry, Head of Research, Savills HOK.

"There is no doubt that weaker economic growth will reduce rental growth prospects in many markets, including Ireland, but provided it does not turn into a significant recession a pause in growth is more likely than falling rents. This, in turn, will help support capital values and should stimulate a return to higher levels of investment activity once the current financial uncertainties moderate"- Marie Hunt, CBRE.

“Invariably, the global credit crunch, especially the US situation, has had a knock on effect, which coupled with consumer inflation, is placing continuing pressure onto the property market. We continue to call on the Bank of England to lower interest rates to help prevent the economy slumping and to help bring back a renewed sense of optimism for the consumers” - NAEA president Stewart Lilly commenting on UK house buyer levels falling to a record low.

"It [ECB Rate] corresponds to what we believe is necessary to achieve price stability in the medium-term. If we had reduced interest rates, the moral hazard is that we would have been asking citizens to bail out the banks." - Jean-Claude Trichet, Chief, European Central Bank.

‘‘The impact of Section 110 could be in excess of the price effects and could help drive activity levels significantly below long-term housing market requirements. Such an outcome would be undesirable, in terms of housing price and output stability. It will also impact negatively on property-based tax incentive schemes, which could add to the downturn in activity in the commercial property sector.” – A confidential government report recommends leaving a stamp duty loophole open.

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