Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Christmas with Pierogi and Spirytus

Having delivered the presents to some of our tenants, I was asked by the last Polish couple to join them for pierogi and a drink.

Pierogi are polish dumplings, these were made with pickled cabbage and wild mushrooms.

The drink was a homemade liquer, brewed from Spirytus (a potent distilled almost neat alcohol) mixed with raspberries and sugar.

Great to block the -1C temperatures in Clonmel at noon today!

Happy Christmas and New Year to all, or indeed, Wesolych Swiat Bozego Narodzenia to all.

See you in the New Year.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Art Hive pop-up exhibition in Market Place, Clonmel

On Tuesday last, I gave keys of a vacant unit in Market Place (close to Superquinn) to Brigid Teehan of Art Hive, a local art group.
She and a number of associates have organised a "pop-up" exhibition in the unit.
The property owners kindly provided the vacant space for free for the run.
Here are pictures of some of the artwork on display.

The exhibition runs 12-6pm Friday to Sunday 20th December.
Drop in for a look.
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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Art Hive Exhibition in Market Place, Clonmel

We have just handed the keys of a vacant unit at Market Place, Clonmel to Art Hive.

Art Hive are a local group of artists in various disciplines.

They are running an exhibition which opens Thursday 17th at 5.30 and then runs 12-6pm Friday-Sunday 20th.

The exhibition is in support of Cuan Saor.

Exhibiting are: Bill J Doyle, Brigid Teehan, Violeta Pserackaite, Ian Mannion, Kristina Olechiene, Dennis Ryan and Carol Murphy.

They are going to transform this unit in less than 48 hours!

We wish them success.

Drop in and do the same.

IAVI response to Budget

Responding to the measures announced in the Budget, the Irish Auctioneers & Valuers Institute (IAVI) President, Ms Aine Myler, said Budget 2010 will have no major impact for the property sector.

With regard to mortgage interest relief, she said, “For home buyers purchasing before July 2011, interest relief will apply for seven years. We welcome this move to protect new entrants to the market but remain concerned about those who are in struggling to pay existing mortgages.”

“The IAVI has continuously called for a more equitable property-related tax to replace stamp duty. We note the Minsters’ proposal regarding a site valuation tax. It will involve an intensive and lengthy process and is likely to take a number of years to prepare the register of site valuations on which to base the tax.

When the site tax is eventually introduced, it is imperative that there are transitional arrangements made for those who have already paid penal levels of stamp duty.

“The IAVI broadly welcomes the proposal to undertake an efficiency review of the local authority sector. For 32 years, these bodies have been seriously underfunded and the burden on business has gown exponentially.

“The IAVI feels that there was a missed opportunity in the ‘green agenda’ and feel that a greater investment in this area would have yielded greater employment opportunities across the building industry and a significant improvement in energy savings,” she said.

The Irish Auctioneers & Valuers Institute (IAVI) represents around 1,800 fully qualified auctioneers, estate agents, valuers and property professionals throughout Ireland and abroad.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tipperary Food Producers in Main Guard

Tipperary Food Producers, fronted by local butcher Pat Whelan of ran a promotion in the Main Guard today. It was great to see the town centre civic space being used for such a venture. It copper-fastened my view that the town centre should be pedestrianised, such was the buzz and general feeling of goodwill generated, in part it must be said by the mulled wine proferred by Garry Gubbins of !
Other suppliers present included the excellent as well as craft biscuit and cheese-makers and more.

Pat Whelan at his stand.

His produce.

Local samplers!

The Main Guard

Adrian Dooley of Tasty Treats

Garry Gubbins of Red Nose Wine
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Monday, November 30, 2009

State scheme now available to buyers of second-hand homes

From the Irish Independent, Charlie Weston writes that the Home Choice scheme is to be opened to first-time buyers of second-hand homes.
If it works correctly, this should be a boon to qualified would-be buyers, who like many others, have been unable to secure funding for a purchase, due to the crazy restrictions being put on lending by our cash-starved banks. Article underneath:

A State mortgage scheme for those who cannot get a home loan from the banks, and which has been criticised as sub-prime lending by the Government, is to be extended to second-hand homes. Originally, the Home Choice scheme only applied to new homes.

It will still only apply to first-time buyers, but they will no longer have to buy a new home.

Housing Minister Michael Finneran said the scheme was being changed to reflect the fact that most first-time buyers were buying second-hand houses. He insisted the change would have no implications for the Exchequer.

Under the Home Choice Loan scheme, the Government will lend up to 92pc of the value of a home to an individual buying a new house, provided they are a first-time buyer and earn in excess of €40,000 a year.

They must be in permanent employment for at least two years, and be able to prove that they have been unable to secure a sufficient mortgage from a bank or building society.

The loan will be at the commercial variable lending rate and the risk of each loan will be assessed using the same grounds that banks use.

However, there has been a poor take-up of the scheme. The minister said this week that half of all first-time buyers were buying second-hand houses.

Hopefully this might help sellers and buyers in what is a very stagnant market.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Some of Bill Flynn's pictures of flooding in Clonmel

Bill Flynn is a well-known Clonmel photographer.
He sent me a selection of pictures taken...and annotated by him, during the recent flooding.

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Friday, November 20, 2009

Flood Pictures 2009-11-20

Nelson St, by the Courthouse.

Sarsfield St, By the Clonmel Arms

Old Bridge, Flood Relief Works

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Old Bridge Flooding, 2009-11-20

For those of you unable to come to Clonmel!

The Old Bridge is under pressure as these two videos show.

Old Bridge from downstream.

From Upstream, the water is too strong to get through the arches.

Old Bridge from upstream.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

2009-11-19 Updated Clonmel Flood pictures

Taken around 4pm from Gas House bridge. The Quays totally flooded, sandbags out everywhere.

And downstream, see the railing...if you can!

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Further Flooding, Clonmel 2009-11-19

Constant rain has meant the Suir has burst its banks. These were taken from the Convent Bridge, near the presentation at 1pm today. This looks like it may be a big one. Forecast is bad!

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Clonmel Quay flooded again.

Clonmel Quay flooded again.
After expenditure of millions so far in the Flood Alleviation scheme, the area that has not yet been walled, the Lower Quay, has flooded again due to the high rainfall.

No reports of flooded premises yet, but with the forecast not looking good, it seems likely that there will be some damage.

Water does not obey traffic signs!
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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

October Viewing and Offer figures

In a normal year (ie, one where there is availability of finance!) November and December are our quietest months, as the run-up to Christmas, shorter days and poor weather take its toll on the property-viewing public.

This year, October has seen the start of a rapid fall-off in activity, both against last month and last year.

Here they are:

October 2008 Viewings 97 Offers 44

October 2009 Viewings 41 Offers 19

As you can see, activity is less than half of last years.

Lack of mortgage availability is the main force at work.

Web figures for this month are interesting also: Visitors 7,043 Page Views 8,255 : Visitors 2,574 page Views 22,396

So a total of 30,651 virtual viewers, versus 31,939 last month, approx 4% lower.

The web figures, which have been similar all year, show that interest in property remains static.

However, all else has changed.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Creative alternative to NAMA...and much more fun for over 50’s!

Got this via email. Great idea, now why am I not older...?

Instead of giving Seven Billion Euro’s to the Irish Banks who will squander the money on lavish parties and unearned bonuses, use the following plan.

You can call it the Republican Retirement Plan:

There are about 1 million people over 50 in the work force. Pay them 7 million Euro apiece severance for early retirement with the following stipulations:

1) They MUST retire. One million job openings – Unemployment fixed

2) They MUST buy a new car. One million cars ordered – Auto Industry fixed

3) They MUST either buy a house or pay off their mortgage – Housing Crisis fixed

4) They MUST send their kids to school/college/university – Crime rate fixed

5) They MUST buy 100 Euro of alcohol/tobacco a week …. and there’s your money back in duty/tax etc.

It can’t get any easier than that!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

NAMA explained-Humour from IAVI member reprinted here

It is the month of August, a resort town sits next to the shores of a lake. It is raining, and the little town looks totally deserted.
It is tough times, everybody is in debt, and everybody lives on credit.
Suddenly, a rich tourist comes to town. He enters the only hotel, lays a 100 Euro note on the reception counter, and goes to inspect the rooms upstairs in order to pick one.
The hotel proprietor takes the 100 Euro note and runs to pay his debt to the butcher.
The Butcher takes the 100 Euro note, and runs to pay his debt to the pig raiser.
The pig raiser takes the 100 Euro note, and runs to pay his debt to the supplier of his feed
and fuel.
The supplier of feed and fuel takes the 100 Euro note and runs to pay his debt to the town's prostitute that in these hard
times, gave her “services" on credit.
The hooker runs to the hotel, and pays off her debt with the 100 Euro note to the hotel proprietor to pay for the rooms that she rented when she brought her clients there.
The hotel proprietor then lays the 100 Euro note back on the counter so that the rich tourist will not suspect anything.
At that moment, the rich tourist comes down after inspecting the rooms, and takes his 100 Euro note, after saying that he did not like any of the rooms, and leaves town.
No one earned anything. However, the whole town is now without debt, and looks to the future with a lot of optimism.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how the Irish Government is doing business today.

IAVI report on Residential Property Values Q3

A member survey by the Irish Auctioneers & Valuers Institute (IAVI) suggest that the rate of decline in the value of residential property has moderated to an average of 5.8% nationwide in the third quarter of 2009, an improvement on the rates reported in Q1 and Q2. Since the start of the year, this survey has shown that residential property values have dropped by an average of 24%.

Conducted amongst IAVI members nationwide and based on sales activity, this survey shows that the moderation in the rate of decline was most marked in values of residential property in Dublin, which only declined by an average of 3.5% in the period, which is an improvement from an average drop of 7.7% for the previous quarter.

All other areas are following this trend: in Munster, values dropped by an average of 6.8%, an improvement from an average of 10.7% for the previous quarter. Meanwhile, in Leinster (including Cavan and Monaghan) and Connaught/Donegal, values decreased on average by 8.6% and 4.2%, an improvement from 9.6% and 7.4% in quarter two respectively.

Simon Ensor from the Residential Panel of the IAVI National Council said, “Based on the experience of our members’ property transactions, these results show a significant slowing down of the rate of decline of property values nationwide.

“In quarter three, we saw an average decline of 5.8% in residential property values nationwide This is a significant improvement on both quarter one and quarter two, which showed an overall decline of 9% and 9.2% respectively.

“The slowdown in the rate of decline in property values throughout the country and particularly in the greater Dublin area is seen as possibly one of the early signs of a degree of normality returning to the market.

“In fact, our members have reported a significant increase in activity, particularly in July, with a large number of loan-approved clients actively viewing properties. The survey also showed that 65% of IAVI members reported static or improved sales activity in Q3 for both residential sales and lettings.

“However, it is fair to say that in the experience of IAVI members many buyers are still waiting for the market to reach the bottom. There is a strong possibility that this is very close, particularly at the affordable end of the market.” he said.

These results are based on the experience of professional practitioners conducting property transactions, they are more reliable than advertising-based statistics or other surveys, which are based on data from some months ago. In effect, the IAVI survey represents the view from the coalface of those engaged in selling property in the current market. The IAVI represents over 1,800 property professionals nationwide.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

September Viewing and offers update

A query on Twitter prompted me to post an analysis of the web traffic for our properties.

@FirstPoint P asked if properties were being viewed online by prospective purchasers before they make an appointment for a physical viewing.

We post properties on and ,which is our own site.

For the month of September, where we had 71 physical viewings, the following stats are revealing: Visitors 6,420 Page Views 7,238 Visitors 2,663 Page Views 24,701

The higher page view ratio on our site is because it is targeted at Tipperary/Clonmel property buyers, so a visitor there is “on a mission”, rather than daft, where the majority of clicks are from Dublin based PC’s.

The most revealing figures summarising the current property market are that despite a total of 31,939 virtual viewings for the month of September, there were only 71 physical viewings.

Go figure!

September Viewing and Offer figures

Without wishing to sound negative... (note to self, be positive), September continued the downward slide for all in the Estate Agency business, when the figures are analysed.

House prices continue to fall. This has brought about a large number of enquiries from prospective purchasers, but they are slow to follow up on the enquiry with a viewing and consequently, an offer.

There are two reasons for this as I see it.

A lack of confidence is one.

A lack of available finance is the other.

As the banks wait, in zombie-mode, for the NAMA proposals to get past the Green party, no finance is being made available for house purchase.

Or any other purchase for that matter.

Why Lenihan and Cowen think that giving tax-payers money to the bozos that run the banks is beyond me.

Why they think that over-paying the banks for these toxic liabilities is a good idea is truly beyond belief.

Yet it seems that the fate of almost €60billion of our money hangs on a decision of a movement that does not really have a coherent policy on anything.

That said, if the Greens bring down this Government, I will give them my vote next time out...I may even consider joining the party if they can dethrone Cowen, Lenihan and Coughlan.

Protestations from the Govt. that “The pace of decline is slowing” (i.e. things are getting worse more slowly, but still getting worse) are meant to be good news!

Figures speak the truth and for our part, the figures this month show the continuing decline in activity in the market.

September 2008 Viewings 119 Offers 43

September 2009 Viewings 71 Offers 14

Remember September last year was a poor month anyway, as the economy had started to go into free-fall.

Even still viewings are down 40%.

Offers are down 68%.

Economists predict that levels of negative equity and inability to repay mortgages will increase over the near future, thus driving down the price of property further.

We need a new approach to our country’s regeneration. The current lot have shown no initiative or leadership.

In an effort to sound off on a positive note, they need to!

Anything else will be better.