For good or ill, the future financial prospects of the Irish sovereign depend in various ways on the future of the Irish property market, both via its purchases of NAMA property and its investment in banks with considerable mortgage books.
The Irish Bankers Federation report on the mortgage market (data here and press release here) paints a picture of a market that has almost completely collapsed. NAMAWineLake provides his customary high quality analysis here. I’d note that the series seem to have a seasonal pattern so comparisons of 2011:Q1 with peak may be a little misleading but even year-over-year comparisons paint a picture of a market in freefall. These figures also tie in pretty well with the figures from the new house price index from the CSO which showed a faster pace of price decline in the three months to March 2011 than had been seen since mid-2009.