A decade of austerity has had a lasting legacy for Eurozone members in Ireland, Greece, Spain and Portugal. But how have their economies and property markets performed since then?
Three years after it was saved from bankruptcy in 2010 with a €67.5bn rescue loan, Ireland became the first of the stricken Eurozone states to stand on its own again. Dramatic austerity measures, including steep cuts to many public sector workers’ pay, had satisfied the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund that their loans would be safely paid back.
The finance minister at the time,
Michael Noonan, was quick to dampen the celebrations with a warning against ever allowing another property bubble to grow and burst. The crash, he said, caused the country’s worst period since the potato famine of the 19th century.
However, a dearth of housebuilding over the past 10 years, despite rising household incomes and a sharp increase in employment (from 1.8m in 2012 to well over 2.1m last year), has sent both rents and property prices soaring, leaving many young workers to miss out on the recovery.