In his tireless efforts to save the world, U2’s Bono seems to be the latest victim of the Irish construction market. The singer has now been reported to have pulled the plug on his famed real estate development project U2 Tower in Dublin’s dilapidated docklands.
Due to latest reports however, the project is now on hold with padlocks shielding the gaping hole of the construction site from unwanted intruders. This is only another victim in the fall of the “Celtic Tiger”, Ireland’s previously hailed property market.
Instead of a new property millionaires haven Ireland is now the playground of an ever increasing line of out-of-work dole collectors. Hailed as the promised land of real estate only a couple of years back, Ireland is now another sad story of people struggling to pay their mortgages and stories of massive property depreciation.
What worries many though is the fact that even famous pop stars seem to struggle in coming up with the necessary funds to develop a project like the U2 Tower.
Ireland’s fall from grace is put down to mainly two contributing factors if we are to believe recent reports.
- Ireland relied too much on their property assets to fuel future growth and now that the growth has turned into a loss, the crash has been bigger than in most other countries.
- Many Irish banks were only too happy to lend money to people who couldn’t really afford debts in the first place. They weren’t selective enough in regards to clients credit worthiness.
However, this seems to have occurred in plenty of other markets too if we are to go by the thousands of home owners who struggle to pay their mortgages now because of financial over-commitment.
What is most worrying though is the fact that around 20% of Irish properties are empty, unoccupied. Industry experts predict that the Irish economy will further lose around 7% value in 2009 alone and the future is looking grim.
Irish newspapers speak of the anger in residents as more and more corruption stories make headlines. One such case is the fall of the Anglo Irish Bank who seems to have been involved in share price manipulations amidst other dubious management.
Now the people of Ireland are taking to the streets in protest to demand greater accountability of banks and financial institutions to the public. Ireland has now become a country of ire people in dire need of financial solutions.
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