Central Bank to assess commercial property-focused funds

The Central Bank will conduct a “deep dive” into the role of property funds in the domestic commercial real estate sector and assess whether a macroprudential response is needed to any potential risks, Governor Gabriel Makhlouf said today.

Research from the Central Bank showed that Irish investment funds now account for more than 35% of the rapidly growing commercial real estate market, having invested a total of €18 billion in …

No change to Central Bank’s mortgage lending rules

The Central Bank has decided not to make any changes to mortgage lending rules here that limit how much people can borrow from banks in order to fund house purchases. 

Following a review, the regulator has concluded that the measures continue to meet their objectives of strengthening bank and borrower resilience.

It also said the measures reduce the likelihood and impact of a credit-house price spiral emerging. 

Without the restrictions, the …

First-time buyers drive demand for mortgage approvals

New figures from Banking & Payments Federation Ireland show strong growth in mortgage approvals figures for October, driven by demand from first-time buyers.

The BPFI figures show that a total of 4,514 mortgages were approved in October . Of these 51.6% were for first-time buyers while mover purchasers accounted for 27%.

BPFI also said that the number of mortgages approved in October rose by 18% month-on-month and by 5.9% year-on-year.

Contactless payments grow steadily; BPFI

Consumers made almost 1.5 million contactless payments a day between July and end-September, according to figures from the Banking & Payments Federation.

Contactless payments are those where consumers ‘tap’ their cards or devices and make payment without inputting a code on the payment device.

The number of such payments grew by 44% year on year in the three month period with almost 135 million payments made to a value of …

Economic growth stretching services – Ibec

The employers’ group Ibec has warned that bottlenecks in transport, housing and childcare are making it more difficult for companies to hire and retain workers.

In its latest Quarterly Economic Outlook, Ibec says it expects the economy to grow at a more moderate pace in the coming years.

The employers’ group expects the economy to grow strongly this year at 5.9% and to continue at a slower rate of 3.1% …

Highest weekly earnings in ICT sector – CSO

Average weekly earnings in the economy grew by 3.4% in the year to the end of September, according to the Central Statistics Office. 

Average earnings in the private sector grew by 3.9% while earnings in the public sector grew by 1.3%. 

The highest average weekly earnings were in the information and communications sector at €1,255.49 followed by Financial, insurance and real estate activities at €1,078.43.

The lowest average weekly earnings …

State fund loses €750k due to ‘human error’

A State fund set up to support jobs in Ireland lost €750,000 on an investment because of a human error which wrongly categorised the money as euro when it should have been in dollars. 

When the rate of exchange moved against the State body it lost thousands because it failed to put in place a mechanism to offset a loss caused by a movement in currencies. 

The investment was made …

Dublin businesses face rate hike over funding row

Businesses in Dublin city could be facing a big rate increase if the Government refuses to compromise on a funding row with the city council.

The issue centres on the loss of €8.4m because of a change to rate liabilities for Irish Water facilities.

Last week councillors refused to pass a number of measures including reduced community funding, rent increases for council tenants and increased tolls on the Tom Clarke bridge known …

Brexit hiatus lifts consumer and business confidence

Progress towards the achievement of a Brexit resolution has lifted consumer confidence this month, new research has found.

But the Bank of Ireland Economic Pulse for November also recorded that despite the brighter consumer mood, Brexit uncertainty continues to weigh on businesses’ investment plans.

The index, a composite of separate measures of consumer and business sentiment, registered at 80.6 for the month, up 3.6 on October, but down 9.3 on …

Black Friday sees surge in online spending but more people shop in store

Consumers still spend more in store than online on Black Friday, according to research carried out by AIB.

Analysing the card usage habits of shoppers on Black Friday 2018, the spending data revealed that 69% of consumers shopping on the day procured their goods in store with the remaining 31% shopping online.

However, the data points to a big surge in online spending on Black Friday.

Online spend was up 216% …