Ronan Lyons | Personal Website
Ronan Lyons | Personal Website

October 2010

A Hallowe’en post on the problem of “ghost estates” (not oversupply)

Last week, the Department of the Environment published the findings of their survey on ghost estates. This post outlines what the study was – and wasn’t measuring – and why the focus was on ghost estates, not oversupply of property. It then highlights some important findings from the survey, including the scale of the problem in the Upper Shannon region and to a lesser extent in the Midlands. Read more

How can Ireland tax and grow: a video discussion

Earlier this week, I posted about reforming Ireland’s tax system. I’ve now taken up a fortnightly slot on Wednesday evenings with – which has hosted a range of interesting discussions over the past few months – and last night, we discussed the points about tax reform I made in that post. The whole discussion takes about 45 minutes, the first part of which is here:

That dealt mainly with income tax. The discussion moved on to property tax – as well as touching on topics like corporation tax and SMEs – in the second segment, here:

The final topic was getting away from the short-to-medium term fixes that need to be made by 2015 – i.e. finding the €6bn in new tax revenue – and looking instead at what sort of system Ireland should be putting in place over the coming generation to ensure sustainability of public expenditure.

This final part touched on themes I’ll take up again in two weeks, when the topic will be public sector expenditure, rather than public sector receipts.

What a difference three years makes: How the OECD’s public and private sectors have fared

Last month, the OECD published its latest Economic Outlook, which downgraded expectations for rich-country growth this year. This post digs a little deeper into the OECD database and compares how the private and public sectors have changed over the past three years. It finds that the private sector is paying more to get less in most countries – except the US, Japan and Ireland. It also finds an effective stimulus in the OECD of about 6% of GDP in 2010, compared to 2007. This is largest and – as spending-led – perhaps least sustainable in Ireland and in Denmark. Read more

House price falls of 40% suggest 100,000 in severe negative equity

The latest Daft House Price Report, for Q3 2010, is out and this post reviews its main findings, including signs of easing price falls in Dublin and the likelihood of sellers finding a buyer. It also updates previous estimates of the number of households in negative equity, now over 200,000. The main worry has to be the number in severe negative equity of €50,000 or more, estimated at 100,000. Read more