Irish Try to Eradicate Ghosts of a Housing Crash
Nothing more typified Ireland’s roaring economy a decade ago than its housing market, which saw prices and construction surge. And nothing better illustrates the costs and complexities of cleaning up after the bursting of that bubble than what to do with the thousands of homes that were never finished or, if they were occupied, have proved to be substandard.
Other countries with similar problems, like Spain, are also dealing with the issue, but none have gone as far as Ireland, which is aiming to tear down about 40 troubled developments by the end of next year, with more demolitions possible in the future, officials say.
But in a nation that by the government’s estimate still has 1,300 so-called ghost estates and possibly hundreds of thousands of unoccupied new homes, the razing program is only nibbling at the problem. The pace of development was so huge in the 2000s that at one point, per capita housing completions were four times as high as in the United States. (via New York Times)