Compared with the previous year, Irish home prices rose in June for the first time since January 2008. That’s a welcome sign of relief for the market that collapsed and pulled down the country’s financial system, prompted a costly bailout of the banks, pushed the country to the brink of default and forced Ireland to accept a painful bailout package. Take a look.
Let’s not get overly excited. Ireland’s housing prices are still 50% lower than they were at their peak in October 2007.
Still, this is a good sign that Ireland’s housing market has bottomed, which could mean that unemployment has topped out.
Like the rest of Europe, Ireland needs to do more than stabilize an economy operating far below capacity. It has to prioritize growth, which will be difficult to do so long as the government adheres to the austerity measures linked to its European bailout package. That’s a pity.