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Dublin: 11 °C Thursday 4 June, 2020

The key, devastating stat on Ireland's brewing underwater housing crisis

The proportion of houses in negative equity keeps going up – and so did the level of interest-only mortgages…

Image: Casey Serin via Flickr

Reproduced with permission from Business Insider.

Thanks to economist Morgan Kelly’s devastating Irish Times piece, the topic du jour in Europe is underwater mortgages in Ireland.

To get a more detailed grip on this issue, go read Negative Equity in the Irish Housing Market, an ESRI paper by economist David Duffy.

A few charts really highlight the problem. First the estimate for the percentage of mortgage-holders with underwater homes:

For what it’s worth, in the US, the equivalent number is in the mid-20s, so the problem is worse in Ireland.


Another worrisome thing for the Irish housing market is this, the peak years for no-down payment loans. By 2007, these numbers were already falling for the US, suggesting the Irish bust is still working through issues the US has dealt with a while go:


There's lots more interesting stuff in the paper, which you can download here.

Reproduced with permission from

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About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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