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Now that smart money has got out - time to throw U to the Wolves
Friday January 18, 2008 15:41 by as do many other small builders
I'm sitting here in a wee village with row upon row of empty houses in sight. The rumour is less than 10% have sold. They're building even more. If I was them buildermen I'd give up and go home or take them diggers and go digging for gold in the mountains. The shit is hitting the fans BIGTIME. They'll try to paper over the cracks until after the EU constitution referendum but I don't think they'll succeed.
The Bertie Bonanza vs Energised Enraged Enda all channels all day everyday puppet freak show distraction is wearing mighty thin and the main man ain't even back in the country yet.
The smart money is long gone into gold and basic commodities - grain / oil / helium futures - that sort of thing. It'll come back to feast when all the latecomers are screwed and have to sell really really really cheap. It mightn't take too long at all.
Evidence? Empty never inhabited gaffs everywhere down the sticks starting to look that tiny bit rough round the edges with more going up beside them.
Food up. Heat up. Kyars up. E10 for a sambo and a cuppa. Funny Money. And oh look what's going on in the global economy. We'll pay a V high price for being the most globalised of them all.
I could find 100 similar articles today but for the small builder moving rapidly from constructivist-surrealist mode to pauvre-realist mode Here's the lay of the land:
Biggest drop in US housing starts since 1980
New residential building in the US last year suffered its biggest drop in nearly three decades, according to government data published on Thursday that highlighted the dramatic downturn in US housing.
Housing starts for 2007 fell by more than 25 per cent to 1,376,100 homes. The largest previous drop was recorded in 1980, as the US entered a deep recession.
Builders broke ground on fewer new homes in December, leaving the annual rate of construction at 1,006,000 - its lowest level since 1991, and down 14 per cent from November and 38 per cent from the same month a year earlier.
Permits issued to build new homes, which signal future construction trends, fell 8 per cent in December, and were 34 per cent down year-on-year.
Former chief economist of the Finnish Savings Bank Association, Ari Aaltonen: http://www.hs.fi/english/article/US+subprime+lending+cr...01555
Aaltonen paints an exceptionally grim picture of the situation facing American banks. He says that the financial system has already collapsed "in some way", but that the Americans are not saying it out loud.
"No American investment bank will say that it is, in, fact bankrupt, and so are the competitors." The US might have to set up junk banks financed by the federal government by issuing bonds worth billions of dollars. That is why nobody wants to buy US dollars, because huge amounts of bonds are coming onto the market.
"When this happens, one euro might be worth two or even three dollars", Aaltonen says. The euro is currently worth 1.47 US dollars.
The economy may be about to enter a period of prolonged recession, writes Morgan Kelly , the economist who predicted the (IRISH) property slump
Writing in this newspaper a year ago, I suggested that, in the light of past property booms abroad, Irish house prices were at risk of falls of around 50 per cent in real terms. At the time I imagined, again based on what had happened elsewhere, that selling prices would stabilise at their peak values for a year or two, and then fall slowly by a few per cent a year for up to a decade.
My forecast has turned out to be wildly optimistic. In the past year Irish house prices appear to have fallen by around 10 to 15 per cent. While still short of the 20 per cent fall in Finland in 1991, this is on a par with the largest falls experienced during the Dutch and Swedish collapses.
However, the Irish property market is giving signs of approaching a critical point where vague individual anxieties coalesce into a general panic and prices collapse. Should a collapse occur in 2008, it is most likely to start among heavily-indebted builders, many of whom have not sold a house in over a year, coming under pressure from banks to liquidate their large amounts of unsold inventory.
What has made the Irish house price boom different from any other (apart from the concurrent boom in Spain) is that it has occurred alongside a building boom. In most economies, the housing stock is overwhelmingly second-hand houses whose owners are reluctant to accept price cuts. When a downturn occurs, most people refuse to sell and the market effectively dries up for a few years until prices rise again. In Ireland, by contrast, the supply of houses has expanded rapidly: at the peak of the boom in 2006 we built almost 90,000 units, or one for every 16 households. This fell to around 70,000 last year and, ominously, a large proportion of these failed to sell.
This raises the question of why, given the number of unsold houses, builders are planning to build another 50,000 or so units this year? Once we know the answer to this question, we are in a position to understand why Irish house prices are now at risk of sudden and large falls.
To start, we need to remember that, because of delays in the planning process, this new building represents projects undertaken by developers in the very different climate of two years ago. There are now two distinct groups of developers.
The first group own land, typically have vivid memories of how their fathers and uncles went bankrupt in the 1980s, and have all stopped residential construction. The second group, who are by no means the smallest developers, have borrowed heavily to buy land and have no choice but to keep on building.