Why Supporting Irish-owned business will be a key to pandemic recovery

As Ireland continues to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, its entrepreneurs and family owned businesses will play a huge role in the jobs-led recovery of the economy. The resilience of Irish businesses over the past year and a half has been remarkable, dealing with the challenges of both Brexit and the pandemic while continuing to innovate and make new strides in sustainability and digital transformation. Currently, the Government is targeting a eight to ten percent unemployment rate for next year, down from the current 22 percent rate. It also wants to see 2.4 million in unemployment by 2024, which is significantly higher than pre pandemic levels. KPMG tax partner Olivia Lynch believes that Irelands entrepreneurs, family owned businesses, and small business will be crucial in helping the Irish economy to recover and meet these goals. Lynch also leads KPMG’s private enterprise sector and believes that the Government is aware of the need to support these types of businesses moving forward.

Small businesses and entrepreneurships are a critical part of the backbone of Ireland’s society and economy. Lynch says “There …

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How COVID-19 is accelerating the path to a cashless society

The usage of checks and cash has been in a decline for quite some time, and that trend has continued over the last four years. With the growing usage of credit and debit cards, as well as the growth of fintech, cash is becoming more and more obsolete. In recent years, fintech payment platforms such as venmo, paypal, and cashapp have contributed greatly to the growth of digital banking payments in Ireland and around the world. The COVID-19 pandemic created a new demand for these type of payments, as many businesses required contactless payments and online commerce greatly increased. The latest figures from BPFI’s payment monitor reflect this growing shift in payment methods. 

 

On March 15th 2021, Banking and Payments Federation Ireland published the figures from the BPFI Payments Monitor for the fourth quarter of 2020. The data showed a 67% increase in online/mobile banking between 2016 and 2020. It is also interesting to note that in the same four year period, check usage was cut in half. In fact, check usage fell to only 4.8 million in …

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Why are house prices surging in Ireland?

House prices in Ireland have surged in the last 12 months. Two separate reports have pointed to a 13 percent increase in house prices over the last twelve months, both in Dublin and nationwide. Property website myhome.ie, which is owned by The Irish Times, pointed to a ‘red hot’ demand outpacing supply as one of the main reasons for this increase in their latest quarterly report. According to MyHome, house prices nationally increased 13 per cent to €303,000 in the second quarter of 2021, breaking the €300,000 mark for the first time in recorded history. In Dublin specifically, they found the average price to be €412,000, representing a 10.6 percent increase on the year. Daft.ie, another property website, reported similar increases in the price of homes on its website, up 13 per cent on the year to €284,000, the highest such increase since 2015.  This increase means house prices have increased for four consecutive quarters, the first time this has happened since 2014.

This substantial increase put house prices nationally 14.3 per cent lower than their highest-ever level in 2007. …

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Spanish Bank Transforms Irish Mortgage Market

Spanish mortgage provider Avant Money has just introduced a new range of products that have the potential to transform the Irish mortgage market. Avant Money has become the first mortgage provider in Ireland to offer a 30 year, fixed rate mortgage. In this type of mortgage, the repayments will be the same every month for the entire 30 year lifetime of the loan. Avant Money’s new fixed rate mortgages have lifetimes between 15 and 30 years, and offer rates as low as 2.25 %. These new long term offerings were introduced shortly after Finance Ireland shook up the market with its innovative 20 year mortgage. These latest moves by brokers represent a huge step for the Irish market, as product offerings here are beginning to more closely resemble that of Spain and France.

Because wholesale interest rates are currently at historic lows, homeowners in Ireland are more increasingly taking out longer term fixed rate loans. Avant Money’s new portfolio of products includes 15 year, 20 year, 25 year, and 30 year fixed rate mortgages, and the rates vary based on …

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El Salvador Becomes First Country to make Bitcoin Legal Currency

El Salvador has become the first country to adopt bitcoin as legal tender. Officials in the Salvadoran congress voted in a “supermajority” of 62 out of 84 votes. This fulfills president Nayib Bukele’s promise to make bitcoin legal tender alongside the US dollar. 

 

“The purpose of this law is to regulate bitcoin as unrestricted legal tender with liberating power, unlimited in any transaction, and to any title that public or private natural or legal persons require carrying out,” the law reads. Furthermore, the law enables prices to be shown in bitcoin. Taxes can now be paid in bitcoin, and exchanges in bitcoin are exempt from capital gains tax. The government will also be partnering with digital wallet firm Strike to provide an easy and simple to use financial framework based around the cryptocurrency. Jack Mallers, founder of strike, claims that adopting bitcoin could help countries like El Salvador avoid some of the pitfalls of traditional fiat currency, such as excessive hyperinflation, that developing economies are sometimes prone to. 

 

This decision is unprecedented, as no country has yet …

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5 Negotiating tips to make sure you get the best house price

When buying a home, you can expect to negotiate with the seller or estate agent for a better price. In fact, many homes end up selling below the asking price, since most sellers ask for slightly more than market value to account for negotiations. Your ability to negotiate could have a huge impact on whether or not you pay the best possible price for your property. Here are some tips to help prepare you for this part of the home buying process.

1. Don’t be afraid to negotiate

While asking for a better deal may seem awkward at first, it is completely normal to haggle for a house price. The reality is that haggling and negotiating happens regularly in the real estate business, and many homes sell below asking price every day. Most sales people are not offended by you asking for a better price, and it is often quite the opposite, as this signals your interest in buying the property. However, it is crucial to ask politely and avoid any hostility and confrontation during negotiation.

2. Research the local …

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5 Features that make a profitable Rental Property

Investing in a residential rental property can be a great and profitable way to boost your investment portfolio. However, real estate is a tough business. For this reason, it’s important to do detailed research on the pros and cons of real estate investing before buying your first property.

It is important to start your search for property before bringing an agent into the picture, as they may pressure you to an investment that is not best suited for you. During this preliminary research, you’ll want to narrow down several key characteristics you are looking for in your property, such as size, location and amenities. In this article, we will discuss 5 key features to look for to ensure that your real estate investment is a profitable one.

1. Know Your Neighborhood

The location of your property is one of the most important things to consider. Knowing which type of neighborhood you are investing in will determine the type of tenants you will attract, as well as your vacancy rates. For example, if your property is near a university, then you …

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7 Tips for Entrepreneurs in Ireland

Being an entrepreneur can be both exciting and challenging. Here are 7 tips to help you navigate the ups and downs of building a successful business.

1. Learn to Embrace Risk

Starting your own business is a risk in itself, but don’t be afraid to take on more risk along the way. If you are too cautious and risk-averse, you may end up missing out on great opportunities for growth. Jeff Bezos has said that learning to take risks has helped him to realize that he wouldn’t regret failure, but he would regret not trying.

2. Have self Confidence

A crucial element of being a successful entrepreneur is leadership. And the most important trait required to be an effective leader is self-confidence. Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motors, famously said, “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re right.”

3. Learn From Your Mistakes

Mistakes are a part of life, and nobody’s perfect, especially in business. However, many entrepreneurs tend to either ignore their mistakes, or dwell on them for too long. A more productive approach is to …

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What will the Local Property Tax changes mean for you?

On 2 June 2021, Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe confirmed the details of the Local Property Tax (LPT) changes. Once the changes go into effect on 1 November, the government estimates that just over a third (36 percent) of property owners will see an increase on their bill, just over half (53 percent) will see no change at all, and 11 percent will see their tax payments reduced.

First off, what is the Local Property Tax? The Local Property Tax was introduced in 2013, and it is an annual charge on all residential properties in the State. Basically, if you own a residential property, you will have to pay this tax. The charges are currently based on self-assessed valuations carried out in 2013. The amount you pay is based on the valuation of your property, and there are 20 different LPT bands, with the lowest two having fixed rate charges of €90 and €225. The problem with these valuations is that property prices have surged since 2013, while the valuations of property for LPT purposes have not changed since 1 May 2013. …

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5 Things to Consider when Viewing a House in Ireland

As a first time buyer, viewing houses can be exhausting. There are countless things to consider, such as the layout of the home, the location and nearby schools, and much, much more. This can be a bit overwhelming when viewing open houses, as there is so much to observe you might miss some key details about the property. In this article, we will discuss 5 key things to observe and be aware of when viewing houses, so your dream home doesn’t turn into a nightmare.

1.How long has the property been on the market?

The first question you should ask the estate agent is how long the property has been on the market. If a property has been on the market for more than a few months and still isn’t selling, there’s usually a reason why. While this could come down to a number of things, from price to hidden structural issues to low demand, this is a good gauge of potential red flags.

2. Account for renovation

Many people make the mistake of buying houses that appear to be …

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