Rental Increases and the Merseyside Derby…

One might have thought after the collapse of the Celtic Tiger bubble we would have figured out the role of housing in our society. It doesn’t appear to be the case.

As measured by the consumer price index, Irish inflation fell by -0.1% in the year to November 2016. At the same time, walk up Grafton Street any night and you’ll get a sense of just how bad the homelessness crisis is.

Yet against this backdrop the political establishment is rushing through legislation to ensure landlords cap annual rent increases at 4%. In turn, aggrieved landlords are frontloading increases before legislation is passed and their lobby group are making threats to government. What a system!!

I keep coming back to the same three questions I raised in my article in March 2015 (see link), which called for a clear long term policy on residential real estate:

  • Why, if we apply such importance to the family home, is speculation in residential real estate permitted?
  • How much property should one individual be allowed to accumulate?
  • Is a house a home or an investment?

The housing crisis won’t be figured out any time soon, but we’ll know tonight who wins the battle of Merseyside. Interestingly, the foundation of Liverpool FC only came about because John Houlding, the landlord of the Anfield road ground, wanted to raise rents on his tenant, Everton Football Club.

The Everton board refused to bow to Houlding’s demands and in 1892 the club moved across Stanley Park to their new ground, Goodison Park. With no team to play at his Anfield Stadium, Houlding created a new club, Everton Athletic. The Football League would not accept his original name and we became Liverpool FC!

This Derby Days video sums up what it means to fans, particularly those based in Liverpool, “It’s More than 90 Minutes, It’s Your Life”.

2-1 win for Liverpool tonight!

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