This might seem to be a party pooper kind of comment but after many years of covering the building sector, this trade editor believes that booms are bad for our health.
Back in the frenetic 1980s, I well remember walking into my local pub where jobbing builders were making a fortune out of yuppies who were moving in and out of homes. Skips were plonked down and filled with bathrooms and other contents that the new owners didn’t like which had only been installed within the year.
For my fellow drinkers in the Fulham pub, the good time would always roll. When I pointed out this was a speculative bubble that would burst, a sympathetic hand would often be place on my shoulder and I would be looked at as some dimwit needing immediate medical treatment.
I remember, in particular, one Dubliner who had come in to the local with his wife, dressed to the nines, who had started sending his children to private school, and took time to explain that this boom was permanent.
Alas, the Lawson boom turned into a spectacular bust and the property market went into freefall. And so did the prospects of the Dubliner and many of his buddies who saw the yuppies kicked out of their City jobs and clinging on to the properties while negative equity took hold. The Dubliner found his ‘friends’ disappeared and so did much else as he fought to manage the debts he had built up.
With this latest and worst recession almost behind us, one hopes lessons will be learned but one doubts it.
Caption Watch out there are yuppies about! The 1980s and the boom and bust should have taught lessons for all of us.