First communion offers many financial firsts

Ireland is a country with every town founded around a religious center. Although in recent years faith has substantially waned, there are many sacraments that still hold a lot of cultural value. One of these is the sacrament of first communion, which commonly takes place in second class with the applicants usually around the ages of 7 or 8.

This widely celebrated day usually brings together families, all ready to celebrate the child’s initial steps towards being fully immersed in the catholic faith. These celebrations do not come without a price; in recent Ulster Bank surveys, parents have reported spending close to €900 to finance every detail of the big day. This number is significantly higher than previous years.

This hefty number is composed of a multitude of spending outlets: clothing fit for the occasion, party decor, prices of food and drink, and general entertainment for the after-communion party. As one could imagine, there prices add up quickly and can make this holy day one that parents fret having.

1 in 10 people throwing a communion …

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Residential property prices rise across Ireland

Within the last 7 years there has been an upward trend for residential property pricing. So far, 2019 has continued to follow this trend, showing significant national growth each month; Dublin seems to stay at or above par in comparison to national average prices.  

Although this trend has been upwards, Ireland is still yet to reach the price levels that they had sustained in 2007. The current residential property prices in Dublin still falls at 22.5% lower than the highest period during the early 2000s, while the national values are 18.5% lower.

In 2018, the prices rose a total of 13.3% throughout the year, giving many sellers hope that the trend would continue forward into the following year. From February to March 2019, the prices increased 3.8%. March to April there was a 3.1% increase, which shows a smaller amount of increase, but it is still far from slowing down.

Dublin increased residential prices by 0.5%, leaving house prices and apartment rents increasing by the same 2.2% as the previous month.

It seems that Dublin and …

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Ireland vs US: Public Transportation

Temporarily moving to Ireland has taught me more in my first three weeks than I had ever anticipated. One of the largest improvements to my life, in my opinion, has been the accessibility of public transportation. These bus systems and railways extends all across the country, allowing a person without a car or irish license the opportunity to explore many different parts of Ireland.

Additionally, this transportation is efficient and timely. The schedules are always available at stops or on mobile devices, giving travellers a very clear idea of when and how to get from one place to another.

At some point in these three weeks, I have really begun to understand where the busses go, what time they will be at the stop I like to use, and on average how long it will take for me to get back home. These instincts have taken time to develop, but they have allowed me to become a more independent and confident solo traveller, even if it is just solo travelling in Dublin.

My university in Ohio …

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Recent currency conversions

One of the hardest parts of traveling outside of the EU, or any area that uses the same currency as your own is dealing with exchange rates. Many people traveling from Ireland for business or pleasure to their neighboring country, the United Kingdom, many times find themselves exchanging their hard earned euros for a lesser amount of British pounds.

As of late, any person traveling from the EU to the UK may have noticed a decline in the value of the pound compared to that of the euro. Within the last month and a half, the pound has hit record lows since 2009; the exchange rate is 88.92 pence per euro.  

This low extends to the exchange rate associated with the United States dollar. One pound sterling is currently exchanged for $1.268. In just the beginning of May 2019, the rate was $1.32/pound. This is a significant loss in value over one month’s time.  

This fall is heavily due to the instability of the economy that rests on the shoulders of the October 31 Brexit decision. The …

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Irish economy projected to make gains

According to a report posted by Ernst & Young (EY), one of the Big Four accounting firms, the Irish economy is seemingly on the rise. This multinational company with HQ in London, England, United Kingdom has been investigating the health of the Irish economy.

Through their research, the company found insight that allowed them to project how the Irish GDP will grow within the current year. As of now, they have estimated that the economy is to grow by 4.1%. This number is consistent with that of the Central Banks, who projected growth of 4%.

These numbers are based solely on the first three months of 2019, and are bound to change with more and more information collection. As of now, their predictions are based largely on substantial corporate tax returns and the addition of new jobs into the market.

Although there are significant positive projections associated with these findings, there are many possible repercussions. One of the most prevalent issues would be the lack of resources available within the Irish economy, but especially around Dublin, to be …

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Dublin’s Airbnb market faces increasing regulations

As mentioned in previous articles, Dublin and its surrounding areas has been struggling to accommodate every person who is willing and able to purchase a home. Demand has stayed at levels significantly higher than that of supply, causing people all over the area to rethink their current living situations.

Local authorities are looking for possible causes and solutions to this shortage. The first possible factor that the government has decided to more heavily regulate in hopes of amending their housing issue is Airbnb.

Starting July 1, Airbnb lenders will be faced with increased water, insurance and commercial rate charges. Additionally, in areas where there is a high demand for housing there may be a temporary ban on the ability to do short term let outs of a property.

In the future, landlords will be restricted to renting out their properties for only 90 days of the year and will still require the acquisition of commercial planning permission. Furthermore, the bookings will only be allowed to extend up to 2 weeks before termination of stay, and these weeks …

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Central Bank seeks additional data

The Central Bank is keen on collecting data on its users, especially when they are looking to take out a larger loan in the future. The Central Credit Register, established in 2013, has been a beneficial tool for both parties in obtaining and storing financial information.

This tool is “a new secure system for collecting personal and credit information on loans of €500 or more” according to their website. All of the data that the bank uses to calculate your credit score is reported by people or institutions that are currently lending you funds on a monthly basis.

These reports are on a multitude of information, which include credit cards, overdrafts, different kinds of loans, and mortgages. This information is all pulled together to identify you as a possible consumer and give lenders a look at your reliability before making any offers. You can access this score in the form of a credit report by request.

As of 30 June, 2019 the Central Credit Register will begin to expand their requirements to include personal contract plans (PCP), hire …

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Ireland tourism rates rise leaves no trace on total spending

During the first quarter of 2019, it seemed that tourism spending has fallen by 4%. What is odd about this number is the fact that the rate of travel to Ireland has risen by 5.5%. After further investigation, data showed that although the frequency of traveling to Ireland increased, the amount of time that a tourist was to stay in the country has decreased by 3.2%.

With tourism number usually around 12.5 million people over 3 months time, this 3% decrease has left only 11.64 million. 3pc can make a huge impact in total income, especially with the high number of visitors per year.

Tourism is a main form of income in Ireland, especially in the city of Dublin. With a significant decrease in the number of people spending in very tourist oriented areas, there may be a significant amount of competition.

This competition will occur all throughout the city, causing stores with similar products to decrease prices so that they can stand out from their competition. The problem with this tactic is the fact that price …

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Late loan payments continue to rise

The Central Bank of Ireland reports that the total amount of mortgages that are now classified as long-term arrears have hit record highs, topping the charts at almost 6 billion euro. There are many types of properties that can and have become part of this number, but the largest group tends to be that of more residential properties.

In the previous quarter, mortgages in arrears were down significantly. Sadly, the largest category in mortgages in arrears, residential properties that are two years or above in late payments, is still increasing. The buy-to-let sector has been the largest subcategory of residential properties in arrears; 17.62% of the total is in arrears.

In April 2019, only 118 of all applications of mortgages for buy-to-let properties were approved while in April 2018 154 mortgages were approved. There was a 30% decrease within the same months separated by only one year, according to the Banking and Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI).

This huge scale down may be due to Brexit, or perhaps the seeming unreliability of buy-to-let properties ability to bring in …

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Credit union caps

The change in the economic climate of Ireland in the last few months has caused many money lending institutions to change their policies. Credit unions are among the most common to change, with the current amount totaling 36 unions all across the state.

The largest adjustment to these businesses are focused around savings accounts of current members. People who are utilizing these saving tools are now being asked to keep their savings below a certain amount.

Some of the caps imposed on these deposit accounts range from €15,000 to €40,000, causing major problems for many of the current users. If an account is above the cap amount, the account owner is required to find an alternative place to store these additional funds in less than a month.

One of the largest draws towards credit unions for people is the ability to get higher interest rates on savings and lower interest rates on loans. High interest rates can be very beneficial on savings but without a significant amount of funds able to be held in an account you …

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