Thursday, April 12, 2007

Old vs.New

This was right behind the B&B we stayed in. In the distance you can see new development. Most of these are holiday houses (2nd homes) built by outsiders, many of them Americans. Builders get a huge tax break, like no taxes for 10 years. Don't see the advantage to the local economy for that, but that's the facts. We passed through many, many little villages in our travels through Ireland and not one village was spared new development. Sometimes it was just a few dozen new homes and sometimes more dense housing. The Irish economy is doing well, but listening to the locals, they think it's about to collapse and many of these homes will be reposessed. They don't come cheap either. A small (maybe 1200 sq ft.) is around 350,000 euros ($460,000 I think). The locals are not happy about these new houses at all. It has priced the long time residents out of the market and they have had to move. For some reason, the locals cannot get permits to build, but the outsiders can. This was the case in Doolin anyway.

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