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25th Oct 2018

Businessman Kevin O’Loughlin explains just how crazy the Irish property market can become

Tony Cuddihy

Irish Property Market

Kevin O’Loughlin, the founder of IT specialists Nostra, describes the madness of the Irish property market in 2003 – a madness that’s close to being repeated in 2018.

Kevin O’Loughlin knew he was no expert in the Irish property market, but that didn’t stop him taking number of chances with his investments in the early 2000s.

Speaking to host Tadhg Enright on The Architects of Business, in partnership with EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™, Kevin describes why he decided not to pursue a career as a developer despite seeing the outrageous increases in property values in 2003.

With many people believing another property bubble is in train in the Ireland of 2018, the Laois businessman is worth listening to.

“I suppose my view, and one lesson I (learned is), ‘why was I in property?’” Kevin, a 2017 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Finalist, mused.

“I was in property to make money. I didn’t understand property. A lesson I certainly learned is if I’m getting involved in a business, I have to know an awful lot about it. You have to be passionate about the industry. If you go into something to make money, my view is you’ll never win over the people who are in it and know everything about it.

Listen to the full show here…

“So I made a decision a number of years ago; technology and cars are two things I’m passionate about, I’ll invest in those types of industries but outside of that? Absolutely not.

“So in property, look, I bought some places and the way it worked back then – you buy a house off the plans a year before it’s built. By the time it’s built it’s worth €100,000 more, you’re financing 90% so you’re getting a €60,000 cheque the day you buy it and then you buy another property out of that cheque.

“So it was a silly time and it was very easy just… I remember putting a deposit on a property and two weeks later – this is (a property) for me to live in – two weeks later I went back and said, ‘no I don’t want to live here’. The price had had gone up by €50,000, my deposit was €4k, and I’m like, ‘OK I need to buy that now’, because there’s no point walking away from a €50,000 upside.

“And that was just the madness of the times. It was 2003 and literally week-to-week, if you went to a new development on the Monday, and a week later you went back, it was up by €5,000 or €10,000 per house and that was every week, so it was just easy.”

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