Property, in Ireland, again, sigh,

This from the Journal, just in.

Quotes Alan McQuaid of Merrion Stockbrokers:

Although there is evidence of pick-up in mortgage lending, it is hard to see how house prices can keep on rising indefinitely without the banks returning to more “normal” lending practices and making credit more freely available than at the moment.

From this, one could assume that if we return to normal lending practices, house prices can keep on rising. The use of the word “normal” here suggests that this state of affairs is desirable.

I’m not sure I want to live in a country where this state of affairs is desirable. Our rental market is beyond puerile with ongoing spats over trying to decide who is better catered for, landlords or tenants. Neither does well out of the deal and cohorts in both sections behave badly. It is depressing to note that in the 15 years I have been living in Dublin I have been moved out of a house 4 times owing to “sale by owner”, and we will not talk about the question of notice.

We have – theoretically a policy against inflation, and for the vast majority of people in this country, accommodation forms the biggest part of their monthly outgoings. But rising rents are considered good things (for landlords) and rising purchase prices are considered good things because sure, we’re all wealthy.

I’ve long recognised that having travelled for a lot of my formative working years, that settling down would be fraught with the difficulty of dealing with the frustrations of how things are done badly here. Sometimes they just seem to bowl me over.

Property is one of them. I don’t own property and I’m not sure I want to for various reasons unrelated to the financing side of things, one of which is probably linked to a desire not to settle properly anyway. But it seems to me at the moment that unless you bought property at least 15 years ago, you’re fundamentally suckered if you’re buying or renting.

I can’t understand the benefit in that.