Surely you could have used the same argument to 'prove' that we didn't have a bubble at any given point during the Celtic Tiger years too. If you include current site cost of course you can make an argument that properties are selling for at or under replacement costs but the bubble premium is built into the notional site cost so the whole argument is circular and meaningless.
Exactly. The price of residential land is driven by what people will pay for houses on it, not the other way round.
It does raise some interesting questions about what people will pay more for stuff built to current regs, whether the extra architects fees will actually produce measurable improvements in build quality, and whether the additional supervisory effort on new builds is a simple net plus or will generate savings elsewhere.
I remember some interesting conversations with the foreman on my tiger built house about whether head-sized holes in the walls were acceptable at "snagging" stage.
I'd certainly pay substantially more for a 2014 house than a 2004 house, all other things being equal. New building in any quantity has to depress prices (relatively) of old, fugly, cold houses with no "period" appeal, although the tradeoff always seems to be site size. There's a fixed amount of money to be scattered around the housing market so rises in one part (new builds) ought to constrain prices of other stock.
Is there a similar stand off between landowners and builders as there is a perceived stand-off between owners and buyers?