Ireland vs US: Gas Prices

When thinking of purchasing a car  one must consider many factors: cost, quality, practicality (to some degree), make, model, interior fabric, etc. One factor that must also hold a decent amount of weight in the decision process is monthly costs. This includes how much you drive, how many kilometers per liter your car gets for gas, and any possible maintenance or upgrades you plan on getting in the near future. 

Fuel efficiency is especially huge, given that gas prices are always fluctuating. Additionally, there is an increased push in Ireland towards the transition of cars from petrol based to electricity based. 

Ireland’s AA car servicing company has noted in a recent survey that overall the price of owning  a family car has been dropping but prices for other vital aspects of car maintenance are still higher than the average Eurozone cost. 

Irish gas prices have decreased by 2.5pc in the last 12 months. Although this is a positive sign for car owners and drivers, this decrease was well needed. At the beginning of 2019, prices had a substantial hike that …

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Parent’s continue to pay

Mortgages can be extremely overwhelming to any buyer, but especially those new to the market. Competition in the market is at extremely high levels, especially within the major Irish cities. This is due to rising house prices, little availability, and the intensity that comes with making an offer against other prepared competitors. In order to make an offer on any property, there are many hurdles that you must be able to jump through to even begin being an eligible purchaser. 

Loans have become much harder to get approval for as a first time buyer, especially if your credit history is not as detailed or robust as another person applying for the same type of loan. With high intensity competition beginning at stage one of getting a loan, many possible home buyers feel distressed from the get go. 

With Brexit on the horizon, banks have an iron hold on most of their funding; they are being extra selective about loan recipients in the hopes that they will have no issues in the repayment process.

Under the Central Bank rules, first time …

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Mortgage rates take Irish lendee cash

Ireland has been known to have one of the highest interest rates on mortgages out of all of the countries in the European Union. High interest rates are not uncommon, due to differentiation of financial records of possible lendees, but a high average rate surely is. According to a survey done by Goodbody stockbrokers, a mortgage rate in Ireland is 1.7 times more than the Eurozone average. 

Although this is extremely high, when you take out many of the benefits and cash back opportunities that the Irish banks provide the rate ends up lowering to around 1.25 times more. This rate is still high, leaving some people who have taken out a loan with significant extra costs as the years of their loan repayment diminish. 

A recent study by the Central Bank has proven this point, showing that a family who has a loan of €300,000 could pay up to €60,000 extra in a scenario where the loan lasted for 25 years. This is a very large sum of money, all of which is owed to the bank simply for …

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Ireland vs US: University Prices

Education is valued very differently in the United States and the European Union, but especially Ireland. In an earlier article, it was noted that Ireland in 2018 spent €10.8 billion, or 14.16pc of their entire government expenditure on education. The United States allocated a whopping 6pc of the entire government budget to education, or $68.5 billion, which was down 14pc from the previous year. 

This huge difference in the government’s focus on education gives students in Ireland, and all across the EU, the chance to gain upper level education for an affordable price. In general, students who are striving to get a degree in a higher education institution are very likely within their four year to take out at least one student loan in order to pay tuition for part of, if not all of their educational experience. 

In Ireland, the tuition fees that are associated with which program you choose to pursue as well as if you are from in or outside of the European Union. These differentiations also occur in the United States, but in a different degree. …

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Rent prices pierce ceiling

Rent prices, something that seems to always be steadily increasing. In 2016, the Irish government began to take note of a fast moving, upward trend in certain zones and put a price ceiling on rent prices in an effort to regulate these changes. Areas that have a high likelihood to increase rent, specifically because of location and competition, are called Rent Pressure Zones (RPZ). 

These zones are primarily located in the larger cities, such as Dublin, Galway or Cork and have specifications that help to protect renters from exorbitant hikes in monthly prices. Any property within a Rent Pressure Zone are legally not allowed to increase their prices by more than 4pc each year. 

This ceiling in rent increases are intended to create a more affordable market for landlords and tenants so that they can have a good idea of how prices could rise; this is ideal for planning housing opportunities and finances in the future. This program worked for the most part, with many tenants seeing an increase of between 2.4 and 3pc a year from 2016 to 2018. 

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Pensions data

Pensions, what exactly are they? As a young worker, it is easy to opt out of these regular reductions in pay to create a fund that will not be utilized for the next few decades of your life. Pensions are funds in which payments are drawn from your salary each month or every few months in order to support yourself and the lifestyle you want to maintain after retirement. 

According to recent official data from the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, only 47pc of workers are contributing some of their salary to an occupational or private pension. This means that 53pc of the working population will be reliant on the non-contributory state pension plan. This plan offers a varied amount of funds to adults, mostly those who are retired. 

The age for retirement is 66 years, but there are adults that are to qualify for this plan below that age; if you are below 66 but do qualify, you will receive €156.60 per week from the government. Between the ages of 66 and 80, you receive €237 per week. Over …

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Proving property tax exemptions

The Irish Revenue Commissioners, a government funded agency, is responsible for  a multitude of financially related activities; some of these include customs, excise, and overall taxation. In 2013, Revenue changed the way that Local Property Tax (LPT) was collected for all residential properties in Ireland. 

This tax is meant to hold the owners of residential or rental properties accountable for the payment of tax on all of their assets. Beyond just these two groups, people who have a lease of twenty years or greater, local authority/social housing organizations, or a person acting as a personal representative for a deceased owner are also responsible for paying the LPT. 

LPT can be charged on homes that are unoccupied or uninhabited, if it is a suitable place to be lived in. If it is not up to par with regular living standards, no LPTs will have to be paid on the property. There is a great deal of opinion that comes into play when deeming a property livable or not, which is why the  Irish Revenue Commissioners requires that some type of documentation …

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Irish economy at risk

The National Competitiveness Council, or NCC, is an organization that collects, analyzes, and reports data and statistics about the Irish government. In general, it focuses on comparisons of the growth and sustainability across the European Union. This organization has looked into the sustainability of economic health across a multitude of different scenarios. 

As of late, this organization has noted that the Irish economy is becoming too dependent on a small number of domestic firms that fall within similar sectors of the business market. Although it is always a positive to support your home companies, there are some major issues that may come from this increased reliance. 

To begin, Ireland’s economic dependence has been primarily within the goods and services export sectors. There has been a huge focus on pharmaceutical and chemicals being exported, with around 58pc of total exports in 2018 being in this sector; in 2017 it was at 45pc. Computer services are also dominating the market, making up 43pc in 2018, which was 3pc lower than in 2017. These bulk exports make up a huge part of the …

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SME debt rises

Debt can come from a variety of places, especially when you are working within the confines of a business and it’s very specific budget. Many times, debt for these institutions is in the form of owed money; this owed money was usually a loan from the bank. 

Within the recent years, the prices of these loans, or borrowing costs, have increased. The first three months of 2019 have seen significant growth in this area, despite economist’s predictions that interest rates would be falling within the year. 

SME’s, or small-to-medium enterprises, saw these high borrowing costs as a sign that they should proceed with extreme caution when working within the borrowing market. These businesses already pay some of the highest interest rates in the European Union and have made sure to be well educated on the possibilities of economic changes or interest hikes on their finances. 

Small-to-medium enterprises are extremely important to have in any market, given that they play a key role in employment. Small enterprises are defined as having less than 50 employees and have an annual turnover or …

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Mortgage lending trends

Bank’s lending practices have been on a rollercoaster ride that has yet to have slowed down. Due to many different economic factors, the trends tend to increase and then decrease with ease over short periods of time. The factor that has the most influence on these decisions by the bank is Brexit. Behind this name, there lies an endless amount of disruptions that are unpredictable in categorical and economic related areas and loom over every decision that the bank makes.

In general, Brexit has slowed down the lending process. That being said, there are some times in which Brexit brings about significant positive changes in the market. After the Brexit deadline was extended to October 31, 2019, there was a significant rise in the amount of lending. This change in some ways rebooted the market, given that the beginning of 2019 had a slow start. 

After the extension, approvals for mortgages increased by 10pc for the year on year comparisons. There were 4,926 loans that had been approved, totaling up to €1.14 billion according to the Banking and Payments Federation …

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