Easy money at a painful price

The fact that many people used their homes essentially as ATM machines during the boom, by borrowing against their mortgages to pay for new cars and holidays, now spells big trouble for our retail sector

20th February, 2010

During 2006, I contacted a number of solicitors in a new west Dublin suburb to enquire about what sort of debts they saw buyers assuming when a property was being conveyed.

One said he had seen cases where a first-time buyer couple would take out a mortgage of, say, €300,000. Then, when the couple learned that the market value of their home had increased by a certain amount - let’s say 10 per cent - one...

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