Architects need to consider changing their profession

Architects need to consider changing their profession

Postby onq » Mon Dec 13, 2010 6:38 pm

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/fin ... 24508.html

AIB IS to pay up to €10 million in backdated bonuses to approximately 90 employees following a High Court ruling last week.

That woorks out at an average of €111,000 per employee.

That is just their bonuses!!!

Are these the people whose sales-led bonus incentives led us into this mess in the first place?

Are they now picking their bonuses off the bones of the economy they helped to destroy?

If this is so, it really is too much and something must be done about it.

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"There are two ways to conquer and enslave a naton. One is by the sword, the other is by debt" -John Adams.
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Re: Architects need to consider changing their profession

Postby FunkyCoW » Tue Dec 14, 2010 12:15 pm

My bonuses were stopped years ago despite having them as part of my contract. I, as did many others in my practice, knew that if we "insisted" we would have been out of work sooner rather than later. The Banks cannot be allowed to fail, or so Biffo told us, yet many other professional and renowned architectural practices have been allowed to wither and die.

If my kids told me they wanted to be an architect, would I support them or wonder where I went wrong in their upbringing?
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Re: Architects need to consider changing their profession

Postby onq » Tue Dec 14, 2010 5:04 pm

My family shows no sign of Feeling the Force (of architecture) but there is a huge mix to the genetics, .
Graduates, directors of companies, practitioners of alternative medicine, painters and also military people.
Multi-talented perhaps - so long as they don't start making prototypes of James Bond style exploding clutch pencils.
The post was prompted by just what you covered in your post, the apparent invulnerability of the financial jobs sector.

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Re: Architects need to consider changing their profession

Postby Solo » Mon Dec 20, 2010 1:21 am

dare I say it Architects may need to diversify but for peace and quiet don't tell CK as methinks he may be against that sort of thing.
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Re: Architects need to consider changing their profession

Postby onq » Wed Dec 22, 2010 5:23 pm

Is CK secretly one of the Moore Street Traders?

You can never win an argument with him.

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Re: Architects need to consider changing their profession

Postby PVC King » Wed Dec 22, 2010 8:26 pm

Ask the average kid 20 years what they wanted to do later in life was a real question, answers might have included, doctor, architect, footballer or fighter pilot etc. Ask the same question now and they'd probably say x-factor winner; welcome to generation trivial.

Back to the original point, I think a differentiation needs to be made between what banks do well i.e. sell forex and interest rate swaps to solvent businesses as against lending money badly. The latter has been a national scandal and no senior manager in any Irish bank over the period should get anything other than a p45 in some cases and some people in leanding and risk management positions are overdue one given the sheer stupidity of much of the lending examples included, BoSI lending money to someone to build 125 houses at the edge of a South Donegal town; no doubt now a ghost estate.

But for the ultimate P45 overdue case for a banker; who is the genius that funded David Daly's puchases of both River Island on Grafton St on a 2% yield even though 50% of the rental level was already over passing (i.e. acheivable) rent; his subsequent purchase of Franklin House on Pembroke Rd at a rate in excess of €100m per acre for redevelopment was simply reckless to the point of deriliction of duty.


However you cannot compare the above with Joe Swap working for BoI treasury who over many years built up loyal clients who only bought from Joe on the basis of him being good at advising his clients when the market was about to change. Joe like everyone else took out a car-loan and mortgage based on earning capacity and regarded his bonus as part of his sustainable earning stream. Why should Joe Swap pay for the sins of the culture of the Ballybritt tent? As an economy finance is the largest employer and surely regulating the manner in which bonusus are paid to smooth out performance over a 3 year period where bonuses can equally be taken back to eliminate the incentive to take excessive risks would be a much more beneficial outcome. I have real sympathy for bank tellers up and down the country who are no doubt taking it in the neck for the suicidal beaviour of Sean Fitz and Fingers et al and I would say these moderately paid people are taking it in the neck unfairly .

I also have a lot of sympathy for architects, surveyors, engineers and construction staff, you worked in an industry that in the absence of unacceptable behaviour on the basis of a small number of senior bankers would still be a profitable one; I understand your anger but I think you can focus it a lot more directly at those that really caused this mess. To pay down these loans you will need a strong financial services industry; if you demonise all finance people the good ones will leave and tell a tale of Dublin not being a town to bring skills and get rewarded, as the global economy recovers you need to attract high fliers to come in, work hard and pay tax; there are real opportunities in this sector. Disaster Myopia will not be a problem with bank lending in Ireland for a very long time to come.
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Re: Architects need to consider changing their profession

Postby onq » Thu Dec 23, 2010 9:47 pm

Oddly enough - or not, given our previous posting history - we are not too far apart on this.

The point of the thread is to make architects consider where they can best deploy their considerable skill sets.

But it is quite clear that incentivising rash risk-taking is what got us into this mess and defending its continuance is abhorrent to me.

Over the counter trading requires regulation.

The Derivatives Market requires to be taxed.

But all means pay bonuses - for those who deserve them.

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Re: Architects need to consider changing their profession

Postby PVC King » Thu Dec 23, 2010 10:31 pm

Derivatives were a lot less dangerous than Fitzy and fingers; inflation of the development land bubble; with derivatives the unwinding of a position can be executed in seconds, it should theoretically never be net long or net short by more than a few percent; but purely the result of executing arbitrage opportunities when markets over-extend as they do many times an hour on most days. Lets call cause 1 the sponsors of the tent and their one way bet on land.

Lets call cause 2 the stupidity of the hosts of the tent


DUBLIN | Thu Dec 23, 2010 8:40am EST

DUBLIN Dec 23 (Reuters) - The Irish government said it would inject state funds into Bank of Ireland (BKIR.L) and Irish Life & Permanent (IPM.I) if they were unable to raise additional capital from private sources.

"We are going to have to ensure that Bank of Ireland and Irish Life also meet their capital requirements," finance minister Brian Lenihan told state broadcaster RTE on Thursday.

"In the absence of private funding we will have to capitalise them as well."

Lenihan also said the government would speed up the winding down of nationalised lenders Anglo Irish Bank [ANGIB.UL] and Irish Nationwide [IRNBS.UL].

"We are going to have to accelerate the phasing out of Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide very early in the new year." (Reporting by Carmel Crimmins; Editing by Dan Lalor)

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSWLA1 ... tor&rpc=43


What that release needed to say was that Irish Life and Permanent and Bank of Ireland are not in the same position as AIB; there is no prospect of them being nationalised under any of the current scenarios being run by any of the credit ratings agencies or bodies such as the OECD or IMF and like the successful Bank of Ireland rights issue earlier this year the markets continue to hold confidence in these institutions. The markets reacted and Bank of Ireland which was up prior to the release ended down 5.5% in New York tonight; it is still sliding in after hours trading.

Before there is nothing left standing of value in Ireland can this government please leave office; they are beyond inept it is if
they have massive short positions in everything Irish and stand to profit big style from the complete destruction of the Country. I will retain my recently built up stake in Bank of Ireland as this government will be replaced fairly soon and markets no matter what they think of the new government will not be making chimp noises on conference calls.

BTW


The point of the thread is to make architects consider where they can best deploy their considerable skill sets.


Very simple; working for Nama as your main client designing buildings of much higher quality than much the stuff that could easily be sold in a bubble environment where words like fear and housing ladder were in the same sentances at far too many dinner tables. An architect that understands quality of space and has an efficient supply chain behind them could do very well; once the economy turns. A very extensive land bank exists and much of it was designed by Liam Carrolls in house team who produced designs that very embarrasing to an urban environment in many cases. Demographics are still positive and demand is highly unlikely to remain as low as 10,000 units nationally for too long.
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Re: Architects need to consider changing their profession

Postby onq » Fri Dec 24, 2010 2:31 pm

The plan for world domination continues apace.

http://www.imf.org/external/np/pp/eng/2010/041310.pdf
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Re: Architects need to consider changing their profession

Postby onq » Fri Dec 24, 2010 2:35 pm

In the Reuters Report Lenihan continually uses the phrase: "We are going to have to..."

Sounds more like an unwilling bride on her wedding night than a Finance Minister.

Can he not get on top of the learning curve and master his brief, even now?

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Re: Architects need to consider changing their profession

Postby teak » Fri Dec 24, 2010 5:42 pm

Can he not get on top of the learning curve and master his brief, even now?

It was obvious all along that neither Finance Minister Cowan nor Lenihan had a
bull's notion on macreconomics.
Just all country bluster and barrister's front.

The awkward thing is that, given his health situation and the publicity given it,
no one - in politics or the media - can say as much as boo on Lenihan's actual competence.
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Re: Architects need to consider changing their profession

Postby onq » Sat Dec 25, 2010 12:19 pm

I haven't been utterly damning of his policies and competence before now, but its clear from what Lenihan has allowed the banks to get away with - not lending to viable businesses in a recession with the consequential bankruptcies and liquidations - that he has bought in to the European led "Beggar Ireland" national treason in the forlorn hope it will return us to competitiveness.

All it will do is ensure a flight of venture capital, preserve the deviant top brass of dysfunctinoal banks and lead us deeper into a depression, not a recession.

This is a disgraceful way to ruin, not run and economy and would not be tolerated by any other developed nation.

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Re: Architects need to consider changing their profession

Postby PVC King » Sun Dec 26, 2010 12:42 pm

The Country entered depression in 2008, the then largest economic sector construction doesn't exist save for a few government capital projects which are being wound down. The future looks better purely because it was allowed to fall so far so fast, what is left standing in most cases could probably survive a nuclear winter; you might ask why it fell so far so fast some of it can be attributed to Lenihan Bros but far more of it can be traced much much further back to the days when McGreedy commenced removing all macro prudential supervision of the economy. I am optimistic as to the future of Ireland and continue to invest money in the country but below I list 10 reasons why the system colapsed and 10 indicators if I see repeated why I would pull all funds out within hours; I invest in Ireland for emotional reasons; there are far better opportunities in almost all other markets such as Brazil, Taiwan, Singapore, Germany and the US.


Macro Economic decisions

1. Allowing the economy to become skewed towards a single sector real estate [2000 - 2008] - I concede it was tempting when dotcom burst to look towards a new driver of economic growth. However real estate is the last sector you want, and you must differentiate between real estate services such as architecture and engineering which can be exported as opposed to creating a property investment bubble in your country. This had two effects, firstly it sucked most capital seeking a home away from productive industries such as IT, Pharma etc and secondly the increased rental costs killed the domestic retail sector allowing foreign multiples to leverage long rent free periods to put Irish retailers out of business. It is encouraging to see the Galway Cardio - cluster building that was the alternative and Ireland lost a decade with casino style development dreams when clear opportunities to place money well were under our nose.

2. Opening the door the uncontrolled net in migration - [2004] - no consideration as to the effects on the existing structurally unemployed or more importantly exposure of the taxpayer to allowing a benefits culture to not just continue but get fatter; at the behest of the Mary Healthy / IBEC axis - all countries (particularly the US and Australia) understands that regulation of the population and abilty to provide public services (which are expensive) is vital, the key value drivers of immigration were Indian softare engineers etc who IBM et al could get visas required on the basis of need with a single phonecall as opposed to creating a surplus of plasterers and barristas. It can't be overlooked that dole in the UK is less than £60 p/w which is no incentive to be long term unemployed.

3. Dependance of the exchequer on property taxes - [2002 - 2007] - no consideration as to what would fill the gap if the music stopped. The idea that people earning €16k per year pay absolutely no tax is ludicrous, even if it were 5% it demonstrated that as a nation we all contributed. When the bubble bust the exchequer had a hole of some 35% of expenditure; probably a developed world record.

4. Relativity pay deals - [2001 - 2007] - these have inflated the costs of governing the country to unsustainable levels just to buy elections.

5. Croke Park Deal [2010] - not only has it not been implemented at all; it was nowhere near enough realistic enough; a private sector taking pay cuts of 10-30% if they were lucky enough to keep their jobs paying for an over-scaled public sector to keep everything except a small cut in their pensions. As was said in the 1950's if its going to be a hairshirt it needs to be a hairshirt for all.


Banking sector decisions / failures to regulate

6. The Blanket bank assets guarantee [2008]- no discussion with any of the other EU finance ministires and against professional advice - Lenihan Brother B acting the big man - Suicidal and alienated any goodwill Ireland had in Europe after failure to deliver the Nice treaty

7. Anglo Irish Bank - [2000 - 2008] - came out of the TMT decline well having shunned any form of lending to sectors without collateral to place as security. This experience clearly led to them expanding over the next 8 years at a completely unsustainable level. It was well known in Dublin that if BoI or AIB turned any property loan down you could always go to Anglo and get it at a very slightly higher interest rate. Dublin is a very small town and that the regulators knew of this is unquestionable, why did they not have a good look at the Anglo balance sheet in 2004 or 2005 or 2006 or 2007, why did it take Anglo aproaching Government after Bear Sterns for the situation to even enter on a radar.

8. One off housing - [2004 - 2011] - the creation of a site farming industry was another ill conceived measure which may have some of the most long lasting damage. Look at the manner in which the Sunday Times estimates wealth in their rich list; Tycoon 123; printing business £80m & 7,000 acres of land in Lanarkshire @ £3,000 per acre = £101m - Agricultural land is just that and must be valued as same. Now you have the banks landed with tens of thousands of sites when purchasers have borrowed €150,000 just for the land and spent another €250,000 for a house in the middle of nowhere and very limited resale value because they were personalised and not considered for any form of resale. This industry created many small time developers who had no clue as to the manner real estate works and then paid up to €1m an acre for holdings at the edges of inappropriate satellite towns for often unzoned land in highly leveraged loans where the security may have been 5-10% of the loan value. This was well flagged for years before the crash and anyone holding these views were demonised; the music always stops.

9. Faiure to assess competing proposals [2000 - 2006] - The number of small towns in Ireland where two or more banks leant money to competing developers to build a shopping centre, retail park or 300 unit housing estate when clearly only 1 development of this scale could be sustained is a another major cause of the crash. I wouldn't mind but this intelligence existed courtesy of the Newmarket publications 'planning intelligence' reports which anyone could subscribe to.

10. Continuing to lend money [2008 - 2010] - probably under political pressure the banks continued to borrow money on bond markets at ever higher rates of up to 11.50% p.a. - they continued to lend this money as mortgages at 4%; not exactly rocket science to work out that even forgetting administrative costs that you would not be long going out of business if new lending recovers only about a third of the costs you are paying for the money.


2011 can't be any worse, construction doesn't exist so can't depress activity any more, Lenihan Bros will be decimated in the election and negative investor sentiment will move to Spain, Portugal, Hungrary and Belgium; leaving Ireland to get on with it.

There is one key lesson in all this, when people tell you that you are top of the class it is not because you are it is because you are playing the rules of their game in exactly the way they want you to do it; borrowing loads of money buying their value added exports such as BMWs and not capitalising on the opportunities that they can't see in their own markets. If the public sector deficit is brought under control and the global economic recovery continues things should look a lot better by the end of 2012.
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Re: Architects need to consider changing their profession

Postby onq » Sun Dec 26, 2010 1:14 pm

I agree with much of what you say PVC King.

The only problem I have with what you post is the continual misrepresentation of the benefits of the tax regime for people on under €17,000 a year and your focussing on the UA as being so much higher in Britain than here.

To take the latter point first, you aren't comparing like with like - there are a whole host of benefits available in Britain compared to here and the disposable €60 a week is the least part of it - there are various allowances that also kick in to play.
I'm no expert on this, so I cannot quote it to you, but your suggestion betrays a comfortable existence.

You try to run a family of even three people on less than €17,000 a year and you'll find it very difficult if not impossible.
And the implication of your suggested lowering of the dole ignores both your own point abotu "structurally unemployed" and the fact that graduates in architecture and the law cannot get jobs out there now.

The "incentive to work" approach to the dole only works if there are jobs to obtain - there are no jobs out there now, or at least very few. For a recovering workaholic like me this is an unbearable situation. Its all to easy to become institutionalised in a "no-work situation.

Which is why - to keep sharp and interested - I'm doing FAS courses as fast and as often as I can - new concepts, now modes of experience and all the while keeping my ear to the ground for opportunities for profitable or break-even work.

This is in the midst of fools trying it on by not paying people adequately or at all for jobs, and assuming that qualified building professionals owe them a living for the property crash.

They fail to realise that it costs money to do business and going from say €18,000 on the dole to an income of €18,000 allows you to run a small family or a business, not both.

So, with due respect to your general points which I accept, I take issue with you on the UA and taxing those at the bottom of the heap.

Its all very well to be starting our from college into your first job with no family and staying at home, but €18,000 is not enough for independent living unless its in a "room" amongst "Friends" - it is very hard to use it to support a family unit with a mortgage, a child going to school and transport costs [whether public or private] in the winter months.

Just a thought.
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Re: Architects need to consider changing their profession

Postby onq » Sun Dec 26, 2010 2:23 pm

PVC King wrote:8. One off housing - [2004 - 2011] - the creation of a site farming industry was another ill conceived measure which may have some of the most long lasting damage. Look at the manner in which the Sunday Times estimates wealth in their rich list; Tycoon 123; printing business £80m & 7,000 acres of land in Lanarkshire @ £3,000 per acre = £101m - Agricultural land is just that and must be valued as same. Now you have the banks landed with tens of thousands of sites when purchasers have borrowed €150,000 just for the land and spent another €250,000 for a house in the middle of nowhere and very limited resale value because they were personalised and not considered for any form of resale. This industry created many small time developers who had no clue as to the manner real estate works and then paid up to €1m an acre for holdings at the edges of inappropriate satellite towns for often unzoned land in highly leveraged loans where the security may have been 5-10% of the loan value. This was well flagged for years before the crash and anyone holding these views were demonised; the music always stops.


I'm going to put a contrary view here but before that allow me to confirm something i have stated elsewhere..

Personally I prefer living in and raising kids in an estate. The houses are more affordable, the services are established, there is a social network outside your door , there is a voter base to set up a pressure group if required to improve matters, etc.

======================================

In relation to the single house market, it seems you are confusing two different markets - self building housing and once-off housing.

======================================

Self-Build:

The self build market acquires sites cheaply, trades on local connections and loopholes in development plans, and uses standardised bungalow-bliss quality plans with minimalist build quality and/or poorly understood detailing to achieve buildings of questionable compliance within suspiciously low budgets with drawings that are certified by technicians, engineers or draughtspeople - or not at all.

The houses are typically built by direct labour, often from planning drawings and may have the owner as both builder and main contractor under the health and safety legislation, organising all the deliveries, insurances, specifications, scheduling and costs.

Typically the owner/builder has little or no experience in building major works and has not trade.
The quality of these buildings is likely to be variable given the lack of competent supervision and co-ordination.
The designs tend to fall within limits and costs of inspection fees are traded off against defined house features - like an AGA!

The specialist knowledge of "sustainability" and improved insulation often comes from whatever salesperson has the most convincing chatter and the few "experts" out there tend to rest their credibility on guarantees for materials and products which their company supplies.

The biggest mismatch in competence can occur when timber frame companies provide the main superstructure, but direct labour provides the groundworks, foundations, slab, services connection points, external walls and roof coverings.

Many a fine "kit of parts" gets assembled correctly on site only to be fatally compromised by an envelope that is neither insulated nor ventilated in accordance with good practice or the timber frame suppliers details.

Despite faults occurring, there is seldom litigation, since there is no one else to blame except the owner.

Self building typically constitutes 30-40% of the New Housing Market annually.

======================================

Once Off Housing:

The one-off house market is the other end of the scale to self-build.

Site cost is secondary to design, views and location, a full design team may be appointed and a main contractor and specialist suppliers may be selected from tender processes.

The boundaries are typically pushed in terms of design excellence or idiosyncrasy - depending on your point of view - and there are some beauts of errors in some I have seen, despite being designed by MRIAI-registered architects.

Budgets are notional and overruns to be expected given the level of extras required on site by the client.

Despite formal appointments, falling-outs are not uncommon on what can be high pressure work and litigation can follow if there are latent - or patent - defects.

You only have to look at the sorry tale of Martha's Vinyard - Jim Sheridans house on Coliemore Road, which ended in a multi-million Euro settlement in favour of the homeowner against two internationally renowned Irish Architects de Blacam and Meagher.
This matter was dragged on for years and was only resolved in 2010, ironically in the same year in which their office represented Ireland at the Venice Biennale.

======================================

Decrying either of these markets is a huge limitation on people's freedoms.

"A man's home is his castle" is a huge mantra in Ireland - far more so than sur le continong - and it is likely to remain so.

While your arguments against single housing have merit, there is a huge political and legal minefield to traverses here.

There is also the moral issue - take away what people strive for, and you reduce them to animals.

Sustainable animals of course - which is just what the Green Fascists would like.

The universe according to Green - the self-serving shower of gits.

I don't buy their plaumause - wait until the next election!

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Re: Architects need to consider changing their profession

Postby onq » Sun Dec 26, 2010 2:40 pm

I should point out that I am a Global Warming Sceptic.
There are only three ELE's worth worrying over.

1. Cometary Strike.
2. Inverting Polarity
3. Volcanic Activity.

All are due, none have coping mechanisms in place worth a damn, and we'd getting distracted by Merkan foreign adventuring, WHO ghost pandemics and the currency crisis.

We're confusing the effects of Global Warming with the human population explosion .
Again, with no real coping mechanisms in place.

We need to get focussed as a species or we will either become extinct or drown in our own waste and excrement.

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Re: Architects need to consider changing their profession

Postby PVC King » Sun Dec 26, 2010 3:45 pm

The one-off house market is the other end of the scale to self-build.



I can't agree with that largely because if we were talking about development of small scale urban infill it would be a consideration but we are talking about exposing the banking system to development in places considered agricultural under development plans designed by planners. Whether the house is designed by Century Homes to a reasonably standardised design or tweaked to the specific designs of a couple who have no expertese in assessing resale impacts it all amounts to the same thing; the building of properties in locations deemed unsuitable for development; that exposes the banks and by implication the taxpayer. For a bank to take back City Centre apartments is never that much of a problem they can be rented out easily and the income used to pay down the funding costs which the original mortgage was paying; a typical urban flat cost €400k in 2006; it can still be rented for €1,500 per month or 4.5% net of letting fees and service charge produces close to 3.8% or a mere 20bps below mortgage rates. A one off house, the site cost €150k, the build €250k; you'd be lucky to get €800pcm and as a result maybe cover half the mortgage costs. Exposure, systemic risk.




You can knock the green party but ultimately that 30% of planning permissions are now going to one off houses simply proves that they acheived nothing in their 3.5 years of government; development is as unsustainable as ever and the types of lending open to the banks are as a result as poor as ever. As a non-car or oil producing country there is no benefit in tying the country to a car dependent model.
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Re: Architects need to consider changing their profession

Postby onq » Mon Dec 27, 2010 2:09 pm

pVC King,

I think you're missing a basic point about Ireland.

David McWilliams applied the rental metric to the residential market in order to get a "rentalised market value".
This metric is not appropriate in Ireland, where rental accommodation was never equivalent with "owning your own".
It was considered a sign of decay in the estate when properties started to be rented out, as "people who rent don't look after the property".

Enough rented properties in any estate actually devalued house values around about - this is experience not theory.
So, IMO there is a basic disconnect in your and McWIlliams comparator about housing values.

-------------

In addition, both the housing market and the rental market are artificially depressed at the moment because of the Recession.
This is being caused in part by a lack of lending into the economy, pushing even normally viable businesses to the wall.
This is part of Lenihan's economic treason to return us to competitiveness by beggaring us & damn the consequences.
The myths by which we lived - invest wisely, get qualified and get a good job, have faith in your religion - are gone.
So making judgement calls on a particular house type based on location misses the point.
Not seeing the two different markets that use that house type misses the point.

-------------

At the bottom end - the economical self-builder - is a basic need that will persist.
At the top end of once-off housing there will always be such people, and such houses.
The steady stream of self-build houses provides local employment even in a recession.
The largesse from once -off houses [as opposed to self-build houses] also provides local employment.
So beyond the end result sought by their owners there is always a real economic benefit to the local area.

Yes, you will see some atrocious "Southforks" to a specific design that cost a fortune to heat, but you will also see some well designed, appropriately aspected houses that are economical to heat.

-------------
Desirability of location is always the main determining factor in any property purchase, because it determines resale.

3 bed Semi-d's in estates in north Wicklow were popular in the early nineties because people could afford them.
4 bed Semi-d Houses in south Dublin were popular in the early noughties because people could afford them.
Both houses have held their value well, the former because of easy access to the N11, the latter due to location.
Only people who needed to work in the city and were sinkies or dinkies bought apartments or rented between the canals.

-------------

Your assessment of "proximity" as a measure of affordability does not seem to be supported by fact.

The commute into the city centre is the same in terms of time and petrol.
Most of the Wicklow run is at a very economical average 55mph cruising speed on the N11, which only gets snarled up at around Foxrock Church.
The South Dublin run hits traffic at the same point but the previous section averages an uneconomical stop start 15-20pmh, with lights, unregualted T's and roundabouts.

-------------

Be careful what you wish for PVC King.

Now we're in a recession because of the skewing of a previously regulated market by a supply of credit without vetting, disturbingly similar to the American Sub-Prime phenomenon.
Would you try to scupper any reasonable chance of recovery by coming over all "Moral Mary" on those wishing to part with money for their dream house, whether self-build or once off - I would hope not?
The market is on the floor - the only thing keeping it going is self-build housing and once-off housing.

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Re: Architects need to consider changing their profession

Postby PVC King » Mon Dec 27, 2010 5:13 pm

Enough rented properties in any estate actually devalued house values around about - this is experience not theory.
So, IMO there is a basic disconnect in your and McWIlliams comparator about housing values.


The most expensive roads in Ireland i.e. Ailsbury and Shrewsbury Roads were always underpinned by the security that in hard times any owner could let them to a diplomatic mission be it an embassy or ambasadors residence; down a level the Sweepstakes probably had the highest captial values per square foot of any apartment scheme in the country; again a very healthy percentage of buy to let; I agree that a flat on Sean McDermott St that were mostly let out probably did lower the value that however was not because they were rented out it was because they were rented out to Dublin City Council's problem tenants which they wanted out of their in house estate. Rents are down on their peak but nowhere near the level of capital values.

At the bottom end - the economical self-builder - is a basic need that will persist.
At the top end of once-off housing there will always be such people, and such houses.


You cannot convince a real estate professional that there is any meaningful differentiation between a self built, factory built or client built house for the purposes of this discussion there are all in the main in an area not zoned for development.

Put simply if you want to know why Ireland has the IMF signing the cheques it is because the last 3 governments completely deregulated everything, this meant that people went out and borrowed large sums of money chasing hope value from the small site farmers through to the David Daly's. When you look at the discounts that NAMA is buying loan portfolios at you then realise how many people were borrowing huge sums of money chasing hope value for unzoned land or after the cumman divied up the fields surrounding many commuter towns such as Virginia, Tullow etc and renamed it development land which has led to over-zoned locations.

It all comes back to one essential point; when planning considerations depart from realistic, best practice into a free for all you unleash an unstoppable bubble as high risk development leads to exceptional returns the profits of which are mutiplied into new borrowing at a factor of 10 after each project.

Given that each one off house that is built removes demand from a supply overhang where is the logic in granting planning consents on unzoned land?

What I would support is a change in the planning system whereby already zoned residential land could see better use of the outline planning permission concept; i.e. a landlowner could apply to build 12 houses per hectare on predetermined plots sizes with a cap of floor area, within a predetermined reasonably flexible footprint and within defined building height; with full pp being solely subject to building regs approval.

However any measure that undermines the property market further must be eliminated until Chopper has another mission; preferably in the Southern hemisphere.
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Re: Architects need to consider changing their profession

Postby onq » Mon Dec 27, 2010 6:28 pm

You're making my point for me PVC King.

------------

I designed 17B Avoca Avenue - a large private residence - back in the mid to late nineties.
It was originally a ONCE OFF (!) private house for a wealthy businessman.
After even more extensions, its now the Indian Ambassador's Residence, possibly a rental.
The point is that large ONCE OFF private houses tend to either hold their value or are very lettable.
Location plays a part, but is not always crucial - it depends on the amenity and quality of the house.

------------

However, look at Mountjoy Square and Gardiner Street areas - once two of the best addresses in Dublin City.
The Gardiner Estates preceded the Pembroke and Merrion Estates on the south side if memory serves.
But fashionable addresses change and the north side of the city was allowed to fall into the hands of slum landlords.
These spec. built Georgian Townhouses without a great name amongst them, there was no cachet, and they fell into ruin.

------------

In relation to zoning, don't put that ham-fisted contraption on a pedestal.
This along with the contrived Adamstown new town is a worked example of how artificially imposed planning requirements don't work.
Tallaght is one of the worst examples of macro planning closely followed by Lucan-Clondalkin and Swords.
Planners simply didn't [and prolly still don't] understand commercial realities of siting shopping facilities.

But that's another post.

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Re: Architects need to consider changing their profession

Postby PVC King » Mon Dec 27, 2010 6:35 pm

Do not confuse urban infill with development on unzoned land.

The continuation of over one third of planning permissions being granted in respect of unzoned land is a clear threat to recovery of the property markets; in case you have forgotten via NAMA, the taxpayer is the largest owner of residential development land probably globally and certainly on a per capita basis.

The continued destabalisation of the property markets by the Government is unacceptable as are poor urban design standards in suburban locations. However until such time as residential land markets recover there is no opportunity to introduce better design standards.
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Re: Architects need to consider changing their profession

Postby onq » Mon Dec 27, 2010 8:23 pm

The Gardiner and Pembroke estates were all greenfield sites in their day, albeit there were no planning authorities to speak of except the City Council and the Wide Streets Commission.

Compared to the Country Seats, Georgian Dublin was made up of cramped Townhouses, without even much of an attempt to keep to window sill, head or parapet heights.

I'm not doubting your word but I'd really appreciate it if you posted an URL supporting that "one third" estimate.

In relation to my own assertion of the one-off housing market constituting 30-40% of new housing annually, all I can offer is I asked two mortgage providers and they both confirmed the figures for 2009-2010.

As for government destabilisation, did you not find it very strange that our population never got much above 4 million since the famine?

Considering the number of children we produce its very odd, isn't it?

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Re: Architects need to consider changing their profession

Postby PVC King » Mon Dec 27, 2010 8:33 pm

The Pembroke and Gardiner Estates were developed plot by plot in terraces on building leases; i.e. you had the right to build a house the design of which was at the absolute discretion of the landlord. Very bad example.

Are you going to deal with the market implications of undermining demand for the Nama landbank or keep spinning spuriously?
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Re: Architects need to consider changing their profession

Postby apelles » Mon Dec 27, 2010 8:58 pm

Slightly off topic, but it does seem that disillusionment within the profession is global if this American blogger is anything to go by. http://mgerwing.wordpress.com/2010/01/21/trained-as-an-architect/



“trained as an architect”

No photos in the post, just a bit of a rant.

Recently my wife and I had another couple over to our house for dinner. Like us, they were both architects, but, like my wife, who now practices as a land use attorney, neither of them was currently working in an architecture/design office. This is frighteningly common. Maybe other professions have an equal or greater attrition rate, but certainly architecture suffers greatly from a brain drain of talent and ability.

In poll after poll, architects testify to being one of the most unhappy of all professions, with very high rates of divorce, alcoholism and suicide. And, compared to other professionals with equal years of post-secondary school education, they are most consistently underpaid. My carpenter friends may laugh at this, but none of them are willing to trade paychecks if that includes the monthly student loan payments.

Maybe the fact the vast majority of tasks that go in to making a building have precious little to do with design contributes to the disillusionment experienced by architects. We can say that all of the associated tasks contribute to the “design”, but I doubt any of us went to architecture school and sweated through the countless hours of studios and humiliations of jury reviews because municipal code review or zoning analysis was just so exciting.

A tough economy makes this brain drain even worse. So many architects, young and old, are not working in the field, not of their choice. Architecture unemployment is around 20% nationwide. Underemployment, at least anecdotally, is 100%. There are no clear statistics that I know of for this attrition, but for 2006, there were 7500 students graduating from accredited architecture schools, but only about 3000 gaining licenses. More than half either never become registered or drop out. Many others, like my wife, become licensed but no longer work as architects.

Do architecture schools fail to spell out the truth of the profession to prospective and current students? Considering that less than 25% of architecture school faculty are licensed architects, you can hardly blame them for not knowing. (That this low rate of licensed architects teaching architecture exists is another problematic topic) Does popular media and myth over-hype the perceived romance of being an architect? Probably so.

I love what I do, even if so much of my time is spent on technical and bureaucratic tasks. That so many of my colleagues are leaving the profession, or never fully entered it, is profoundly depressing. The extremely poor quality, both technical and aesthetic, of the built environment, the ugliness of our cities, the wastefulness of our construction industries, is directly related to the deplorable depletion of the ranks of rigorously trained, hard-working architects. In the United States, the vast majority of buildings are put together by developers. It is no coincidence that in a landscape where aesthetics are considered so much window-dressing, and a public would rather save a few bucks than have buildings to be proud of, architects find few handholds.

If anyone knows of any reliable statistics on the number of people “trained as architects” that are no longer working in the profession, I would love to see them. That the AIA, NCARB and schools of architecture have no idea what this number is, well…
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Re: Architects need to consider changing their profession

Postby PVC King » Mon Dec 27, 2010 11:43 pm

I guess a pretty simple calculation would be

UCD * graduates per year * 40
DIT * graduates per year * 40

= Total graduates

I'd imagine over time the numbers who graduated from college abroad and practice hear and those who graduated here and went to pastures new would be about equal.

Then get ARB numbers and divide by the number of grads.

I suspect anyone who spent that amount of time studying would be loathe to give it up; but who knows....
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