Mainstream Irish Media Smells Of Cement
More than 266,322 houses, flats and holiday homes lie vacant in the Republic — enough to house a million people, the Sunday Independent has learned. Housing Minister Batt O’Keeffe claimed two weeks ago that much of the present problems in the housing market was caused by rogue builders who are “sitting” on finished properties as they wait for an up-turn in the market. However, figures secured by Fine Gael’s Brian Hayes indicate the problem is far more deep-rooted, with a huge stockpile of ordinary family homes unoccupied. The figures destroy the myth that it’s holiday homes that make up the billions of euro worth of vacant property.” (Sunday Independent, 23 December 2007)
The Sunday Independent “revealed” today that there is an oversupply of houses in Ireland – something we’ve been saying since the release of the Census figures on housing back in August of this year.
There is nothing special about the research we undertook – the information is freely available on the Web – and yet the Irish Independent did not feel it newsworthy until today. We also covered the amount of empty housing units in the major cities as well. . The newspaper said that it was made aware of the figures by Fine Gael TD, Brian Hayes. In the report, it alludes to figures obtained by Hayes, but not the source. It gives the impression of some kind of secret insider information. The Indo neglects to mention that anyone with access to the internet – people like, oh, let’s say, Irish journalists? for example? – can pick up these figures as they have been available from the CSO since 16 August 2007.
The same edition tells us that the property market is picking up because a couple of estate agents say that prices are expected to rise in 2008 – to pick up price in the face of massive oversupply and in the midst of an international credit crisis, one that has already led to this coordinated action from five major central banks. But, sure, why bother with that type of analysis when you have the intellectual colossus of an Irish estate agent at the tip of your speed-dial ?
Also, how come the Sindo missed a story about oversupply in the housing market until after their agenda of stamp duty reform was met?
Once again I say it, the mainstream media has no credibility when it comes to housing in this country.