Mortgage Rates – comparison to Europe

High mortgage rates and strict mortgage regulations are greatly effecting borrowers. According to the Independent, Ireland’s high mortgage rates are costing borrowers up to  €60,000.

Although Irish mortgage rates have dropped in May according to data from the Central Bank, the rate remains the second highest in all of the eurozone. The only country that has higher mortgage rates than Ireland is Greece.

The average rate on all new mortgages averaged to 3.01% in May. The rate decreased by two basis points since April. However, the average rate in the european area amounts to only 1.68%. However, in comparison to the United States, the average rate is around 3.5%. The lowest mortgage rate in the eurozone is Finland. The rate defined in Finland is less than 1%.

According to the Banking and Payments Federation, the average first time buyer mortgage is now defined as €225,000. This means that the typical first time home buyer who is borrowing €225,000 over 30 years will pay about €143 more per month for their mortgage. If the average first time was able to borrow under the eurozone average rate, …

Read More

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. …

Read More

Outlook on the Irish Housing Market

Key issues regarding the stability of the Irish economy seen in the housing market. The key issue of the housing crisis can be defined as growing demand that is not meet by current supply.

Many current government policies are concerned with increasing the volume of supply of completing housing units. For example, Rebuilding Ireland is associated with increasing housing supply to reduce homelessness. However, over the past 3 years supply has increased but housing prices have increased at a rate higher than the increase in supply. Governmental policies focus too much on supplying more volume instead of focusing on the affordability of housing.

According to Goodbody BER Housebulding Tracker, it is estimated that an additional 18,855 new housing units were added in 2018. This estimation is in line with previous forecasts. The majority of new dwelling competitions in 2018 were located in the Greater Dublin Area. More specifically, housing completions in the Greater Dublin Area accounted for 60% of the total new housing schemes in 2018. Although there has been an increase in the supply of housing, many problems in …

Read More

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 …

Read More

Energy Prices

Consumers have been warned about rising energy prices. Many have been urged to beat immense energy price hikes by switching suppliers. According to new research from the energy regulator shows that house holders who actively switched electricity providers over the last four years have saved more than €1,000.

According to the Commission for the Regulation of Utilities, seven electricity suppliers announced that energy prices will rise in the next few months. The average increase in energy costs amounted to 5 percent for electricity and 13 percent for gas according to the commission for regulation and utilities.

Across the last four years, those who choose not to switch their suppliers for both electricity and gas suppliers over the last four years could have saved €1,700. The CRU claimed that savings made through changing electricity and gas suppliers 0r negotiating with a current supplier could have helped customers save on the recent raises in price. The CRU further described switching rates by consumers last year as “robust”. In other words consumers who took the advice to switch providers or negotiate with their current supplier …

Read More

Childcare challenges

Having a child can be an extremely rewarding experience, but it is not without its challenges. For most people, it is a pivotal step towards full adulthood and requires a great deal of contemplation in regards to finances and time availability. 

The most recent census statistics have proven that having children is a common occurrence for young Irish adults, making Ireland’s under under-five population one of the highest in the 38 European Union countries that were examined; 398,000 children, or 7pc of the Irish population, is made up of young children.

A Eurydice report , published in 2019, focused heavily on examining early childhood education and care in European nations noted that Ireland is one of four countries to have extremely high child care rates, especially for those under the age of three. The other three countries with high costs are the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and Switzerland. 

This sheer number of children within Ireland comes as a somewhat shock to economists, who note that the costliness of childcare exceeds almost every other European country. There are a multitude of …

Read More

High land prices keeps developers from supplying homes that are demanded

High costs of land is making developers unable to supply homes that are truly needed to solve the housing crisis. According to a leading developer, land prices specifically need to be reduced by 25% to 35% to meet Ireland’s real demand for housing.

The development company, O’Flynn Group is currently developing 1,600  new housing units across 11 sites in Dublin and Cork. O’Flynn Group’s chief executive, Michael Flynn stated that Ireland’s residential construction activity may be nearing a plateau. He reasons his statement because of restricting limits of supplying homes, ranging from mortgage lending limits to skill shortages in construction. Regulation serves as another limiting factor in supplying homes.

According to O’Flynn, the real demand for housing is twice the amount developers are able to deliver. He continues to denote that if artificial restrictions are not limited, and demand for affordable housing is not met than the housing crisis will only continue. Lastly, he noted that more households will be forced into the rental sector with out the hope of saving if the trends previously described continue.

O’Flynn was prompted …

Read More

Housing and the Changing Demographics of Ireland

In order to solve the housing crisis, policy makers must consider changing demographics and plan for long term methods to resolve the housing crisis. According to Engineer’s Ireland review of housing in the The state of Ireland 2019, projections of future Irish population is increasing in number, age and diversity. The population is expected to grow from 2.78 people in 2017 to between 5.6 to 6.7 million people in 2051. The median forecast was defined as approximately 6.2 million people. An additional 1.48 million people must be housed in the next 32 years.

Future demographic projections are essential in forming adequate long term planning in regard to housing in Ireland. Due to the significant projected increase in population size, there is great demand to increase housing supply and plan accordingly.  The current average size of an Irish household is 2.7 people per home. If the average household size remains the same, the number of homes supplied must amount to at least 548,148 additional units by 2051. This amounts to an average of 15,661 additional housing units must supplied each year …

Read More

Effects of ending the help-to-buy scheme

The help-to-buy scheme was designed to help first time buyers buy a home. First time buyers are encouraged to buy property through the help-to-buy scheme by refunds of income tax and deposit interest retention tax paid over the last four years. The help-to-buy scheme allows purchasers to claim a rebate  tax already paid of income up to €20,000 depending on the value of the property.

There is a move to end the help-to-buy scheme. This would be detrimental to the housing market. Figures have shown that more than 80% of all first time buyers are relying on the scheme to buy a home.

However, the scheme is scheduled to end at the end of 2019. The government has given no indication of an extension of the help-to-buy scheme.

According to theBanking and Payments Federation, 84% of new property purchases were made by first time buyers with the support of the help to buy scheme. Furthermore, chief economist, Dr Ali Ugur, claimed that the help-to-buy scheme was important for market stability. It was a key component in helping housing supply increase and …

Read More

More families unable to afford homes in Dublin

The Dublin City Councillors agreed to tightly restrict eligibility to qualify for the affordable housing scheme. Thus, fewer families will be able to buy social housing in Dublin.

The Dublin City Council is seeking developers for 400 new homes on three different sites. These homes will be offered for sale to qualifying low and middle income workers. The starting price will be from $116,000. New apartments and homes amounting to 370 new units in Ballyum and Ballyfermont will be the first of several thousand affordable homes in all of Dublin, Fingal and Dun Laoghaire.  The scheme of priority has been approved by councillors by the four local authorities. The scheme determines how prospective buyers will be chosen.

Priority applicants have been defined as those living in the council area for at least 12 month will be the first to chose the newly available homes. The remaining homes will be offered to applicants with children in education in a set distance of the property. Any remaining homes will then be available to those who have a household member with a job …

Read More