03 March 2009

Worst silver lining ever.

Been a quiet few days in terms of online activity, as I have been more sociable than usual in the really real world, with drinks and/or food with friends every day for the last week. I have thus been too tired and/or fed to blog about anything of worth.

You might think that this was one last bacchanalian hurrah in defiance of our impending societal and economic collapse. And you would be right. The list of friends who have suddenly found themselves unemployed continues to grow, and the realities of the recession are hitting home hard and fast now. I met a friend this morning who had been thinking of selling up everything here and moving abroad; three years ago he bought a three bedroom semi-d in a new(ish) estate in North County Dublin for €650,000. He had the house valued today by an estate agent, and was shocked to find it now worth €450,000. Negativity equity has most definitely arrived.

I found myself very depressed earlier in the week over reports that the Government were examining the reintroduction of Property Tax, with talk of an annual 1% tax on the value of a home. With no taxable income at the moment, I haven't been too concerned with reports of income tax increases, and as I have carefully planned out a monthly budget for the next year or so my plan to ride out the recession bunkered down in my almost-self-sustainable apartment looked fool-proof. With my mortgage switching over to a Tracker this month, I actually saved €250 this month alone, everything was indeed coming up Milhouse. However the sudden introduction of a 1% property tax would throw that plan into considerable disarray.

Thus it was with no small amount of irony that I actually took some strength from my friend's story of the rapid and near-catastrophic collapse in the value of his house; If I had my apartment revalued in the event of the introduction of an annual property tax, then perhaps I would end up paying less tax and could stretch my budget further.

That is how messed up our economy is, I am now looking at negative equity as a positive development.

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At 10:31 am, Blogger 2BiT said...

Yep it's pretty shitty all round. What I can't get over is that everybody's acting like it's a suprise...

Years of staggering house price increases that left most people I/we know priced out of the market, an economic plan based on unsustainable growth and building, with a government that failed to invest in basic infrastructure necessary to retain and develop corporate investment and public services, whilst at the same time alienating individual and low-income taxpayers.

where did it all go wrong? :D

What did people think was going to happen? It's at this stage that spending all my money on booze and records looks like a sound financial plan. At least I've still got the records to show for it!

Ah sure lets build another motorway and forget all about it...

At 10:52 am, Blogger Unkie Dave said...

I was up in Chapters bookshop on Parnell Street last week and continued to be impressed with the range of their 2nd hand section upstairs, not that many bookshops have a new African Politics section, let alone a 2nd-hand one.

Back in the late 80's a regular Saturday afternoon activity for me was to come into town and hit three or 4 2nd hand bookshops, by the early noughties almost all had closed down as no-one was interested in buying used books anymore.

So here's hoping one other upside of the recession is an increase in the number of 2nd hand book and record shops.

At 10:57 am, Blogger 2BiT said...

Thanks for putting the recession into terms I can understand :D

more records for 2BiT! Yay!

(what's everyone looking so glum for?)


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