News Archives - Pat Carroll PCCO - Chartered Accountants & Tax Advisors

Pace of rise in advertised rents slowed in first quarter

Advertised rents rose by just 0.6% between January and the end of March, new data from the property listings website Daft.ie shows.

It meant that average rent sought in the first quarter was €1,836 per month, an increase of 4.9% on the same period last year.

That is the lowest annual rate of asking price inflation seen in three years and significantly lower that the 14.1% recorded in the middle of 2022.

According to the author of the Daft.ie rental report, Ronan Lyons, that overall national decline in the rate of increase in rents has been driven by more multi-unit development supply coming onto the market in Dublin.

He added that there are early signs that something similar is happening in other markets.

In Munster, outside its three cities for example, rents were effectively unchanged in the first quarter of this year compared to the last three months of last year.

“More supply, even at the upper end of the market, relieves pressures across the market and, in the second half of 2023 in particular, new supply saw availability improve and inflation has eased,” said Mr Lyons who is also Associate Professor of Economics at Trinity College Dublin.

“However, improvements in the availability of homes to rent look to have stalled. Without additional increases in rental supply, any pressure on rents is likely to be upward in nature, further straining affordability for those on regular incomes.”

“For that reason, policymakers must develop a thorough understanding of rental supply dynamics ahead of a detailed plan on dramatically increasing rental supply over the rest of the decade.”

The report also shows that on May 1st, just over 2,000 homes were available to rent, effectively unchanged on the same date a year previously and well below half the 2015-2019 average of almost 4,400.

However, Daft is just one of a number of places where properties are advertised for rent and some properties are rented without being advertised at all.

In Dublin, market rents in the first quarter were 2.5% higher than a year previously.

The average increase outside Dublin was 7.2% year-on-year, reflecting a lower rate of inflation than before.

In Galway city, rents were up 5% year-on-year to €1,861, while in Waterford and Cork cities, the increases were 6.9% and 8% respectively.

However, in Limerick city, market rents were up 17.5% year-on-year to €1,933, one of the largest increases in the country.

Article Source – Pace of rise in advertised rents slowed in first quarter – Daft – RTE

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Pace of rise in advertised rents slowed in first quarter

Advertised rents rose by just 0.6% between January and the end of March, new data from the property listings website Daft.ie shows.

It meant that average rent sought in the first quarter was €1,836 per month, an increase of 4.9% on the same period last year.

That is the lowest annual rate of asking price inflation seen in three years and significantly lower that the 14.1% recorded in the middle of 2022.

According to the author of the Daft.ie rental report, Ronan Lyons, that overall national decline in the rate of increase in rents has been driven by more multi-unit development supply coming onto the market in Dublin.

He added that there are early signs that something similar is happening in other markets.

In Munster, outside its three cities for example, rents were effectively unchanged in the first quarter of this year compared to the last three months of last year.

“More supply, even at the upper end of the market, relieves pressures across the market and, in the second half of 2023 in particular, new supply saw availability improve and inflation has eased,” said Mr Lyons who is also Associate Professor of Economics at Trinity College Dublin.

“However, improvements in the availability of homes to rent look to have stalled. Without additional increases in rental supply, any pressure on rents is likely to be upward in nature, further straining affordability for those on regular incomes.”

“For that reason, policymakers must develop a thorough understanding of rental supply dynamics ahead of a detailed plan on dramatically increasing rental supply over the rest of the decade.”

The report also shows that on May 1st, just over 2,000 homes were available to rent, effectively unchanged on the same date a year previously and well below half the 2015-2019 average of almost 4,400.

However, Daft is just one of a number of places where properties are advertised for rent and some properties are rented without being advertised at all.

In Dublin, market rents in the first quarter were 2.5% higher than a year previously.

The average increase outside Dublin was 7.2% year-on-year, reflecting a lower rate of inflation than before.

In Galway city, rents were up 5% year-on-year to €1,861, while in Waterford and Cork cities, the increases were 6.9% and 8% respectively.

However, in Limerick city, market rents were up 17.5% year-on-year to €1,933, one of the largest increases in the country.

Article Source – Pace of rise in advertised rents slowed in first quarter – Daft – RTE

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Inaugural Global Economic Summit to open in Co Kerry

More than 400 leaders from politics, business, economics and civic life are gathering in Killarney, Co Kerry over the next three days for the inaugural Global Economic Summit.

They will discuss themes including climate change, energy sustainability, health ecosystems, education, technology and artificial intelligence.

The summit is a not-for-profit event which aims to develop new solutions to global challenges.

Minister for Finance Michael McGrath is opening the summit this morning.

Among the speakers will be CEO of the World Energy Council Angela Wilkinson, Ireland’s European Commissioner Mairead McGuinness and Prince Albert II of Monaco.

Ms McGuinness’s speech will focus on financing the green transition.

Executive Director of Planning at Interpol Darrin E. Jones will deliver a paper on the importance of partnerships in an ever-changing global security environment.

Tomorrow, the summit will discuss the impact of evolving technologies like AI on the world’s population.

Health will also be a central theme of the day, in the wake of the Covid pandemic.

Chief Business Strategist of AI at Google Gopi Kallayi will be on a panel discussing artificial intelligence and the metaverse.

Director General of the World Health Organisation Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus will deliver a speech on health post-Covid, covering the future of healthcare and public health systems.

Former Prime Minister of Ukraine Yulia Tymoshenko will feature on Wednesday, along with AI advisor to Pope Francis, Fr Paolo Benanti.

While this is the inaugural Global Economic Summit and it ends on Wednesday, the organisers say their aim is to provide an on-going platform for international and domestic organisations to discuss current and future global challenges.

Article Source – Inaugural Global Economic Summit to open in Co Kerry – RTE

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Fuel prices see slight fluctuation in May

New figures from AA Ireland show a a slight fluctuation in petrol and diesel prices over the last few weeks after a sharp increase in April.

The AA Ireland’s latest monthly Fuel Price Survey shows that average petrol prices rose by two cent per litre to €1.83, while diesel dropped two cent a litre to €1.76.

Electric Vehicle fuelling costs remained the same this month, meaning EV owners can expect to pay about €925 a year to cover the national average of 17,000km per year.

Jennifer Kilduff, Head of Marketing & PR for AA Ireland, said that despite the steep increases seen over the past few months the average cost of fuel in May has not changed too much.

“If motorists can afford the time to shop around to get the best fuel prices, they should. Saving even a few cents on topping up your tank can help,” she said.

“We would also urge drivers to continue to educate themselves on how to drive smarter and more efficiently, there are significant savings to be made when a vehicle is properly maintained,” she added.

Article Source – Fuel prices see slight fluctuation in May – AA Ireland – RTE

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FSU conference to discuss pay, AI and surveillance

Pay increases, the rise of artificial intelligence and staff surveillance are among the topics to be discussed at the triennial conference of the Financial Services Union (FSU) which opens in Belfast.

Delegates will vote on 26 motions covering issues such as the four-day week, branch closures and collective bargaining.

In his opening address to the conference, FSU General Secretary John O’Connell will call for pay increases for bank workers.

“We will enter pay negotiations this year with the clear ambition to significantly raise pay for our members,” Mr O’Connell will say.

“Starting rates of pay in banking are not sustainable and have to be increased. Staff cannot afford to rent a home never mind buy their own home,” according to his opening remarks.

The FSU also represents workers in the tech sector.

“It has been a turbulent time for this sector with redundancy after redundancy announcements and fear and anxiety from workers rampant within the sector,” Mr O’Connell will say.

“The big difference between this sector and other areas where we represent workers is these companies currently refuse to speak to unions, refuse to accept that workers should be represented by a union and refuse all requests from workers for representation,” delegates will hear.

This year, the Government will transpose the EU Directive on Adequate Minimum Wages which seeks to promote collective bargaining.

Collective bargaining is the process of negotiation between employers and employee representatives such as trade unions.

This weekend’s FSU conference will hear calls for the Government to transpose the directive in a ‘worker centric’ way that includes new legislation that protects workers from discrimination.

The key note speaker at the conference is Kelly M Fay Rodríguez, US Special Representative for International Labour Affairs, who will speak about collective bargaining and the purpose and role of trade unions.

Article Source – FSU conference to discuss pay, AI and surveillance – RTE

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Economic benefits at risk from data centre uncertainty – DII

Failure to address the policy constraints around data centres in Ireland will put the country at risk of missing economic benefits of next generation technologies, an industry body has warned.

Digital Infrastructure Ireland (DII), which is made up of ten data centre developers and operators here, has called for the Government to set up a working group that would bring the State, data centre industry and regulators together to address issues related to the sector.

The group argues that over the past three years, concerns around energy, sustainability and land use have severely limited data centre development and investment in this country.

“Ireland needs to commit to certainty on its data centre policy quickly, otherwise it will miss the next phase of investment into digital developments, having lost the first wave of it over the last two years,” said Peter Lantry, chairperson of DII.

“Without swift and direct action on this uncertainty, Ireland’s position as a welcoming hub for foreign direct investment and a global technology leader is at risk, just as investment in AI is scaling around the world.”

“If the uncertainty continues, particularly in the Dublin metro area, it will reshape Ireland’s standing as a choice destination for prominent global projects.”

Three years ago, an effective moratorium was placed on the connection of further new data centres in the Dublin region to the national electricity grid until 2028.

This was because of capacity constraints in the grid, caused in part by the the growth in recent years in the number of data centres and other large energy users, and concerns about the associated carbon emissions.

New data centres requesting connection to the transmission system are currently reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

A number of criteria are being considered including the location of the centre and whether the grid capacity is constrained there or not, the ability of the centre to generate its own energy onsite and its ability to be flexible in its demand.

Gas Networks Ireland has also not been connecting new data centres to the gas distribution system for the last two years, unless they had previously been approved for connection.

Minister for the Environment Eamon Ryan has said new data centres will not be connected to the electricity or gas grids until they stop relying on fossil fuels and reduce their carbon emissions.

But DII claims there is also a lack of clarity on connection agreement policy for large energy users and Ireland’s demand strategy.

“Billions of euros are expected to be invested in AI and data centres in Ireland over the next several years,” Mr Lantry said.

“Failure to act on issues facing digital infrastructure in a timely manner puts Ireland’s ability to harness this wave of investment at risk.”

DII also claims that the current policy climate does not provide the necessary certainty for the industry to commit to investing in renewable energy projects at any meaningful scale.

Among the members of the DII alliance are CyrusOne, Digital Realty, EdgeConneX, EngineNode, Equinix, K2, Keppel DC REIT, Pure DC, T5 and Vantage Data Centers.

So far they have invested €10bn in the economy and they claim they would invest a further €3bn in the Greater Dublin Area in future years if the policy climate permitted them to do so.

The group said it is committed to advancing technology and sustainability and addressing industry challenges.

It was recently reported that inward investment agency, IDA Ireland, had called last summer for clarification without further delay about the rules for data centres seeking gas connections amid damage to Ireland’s credibility around the issue.

Article Source – Economic benefits at risk from data centre uncertainty – DII – RTE

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Exports rise by €2.3 billion in first quarter of 2024 – CSO

New figures from the Central Statistics Office show that Ireland’s unadjusted exports of goods increased by €2.3 billion to €53.2 billion in the first quarter of this year compared with the same time last year.

The CSO said that seasonally adjusted exports of goods amounted to €17.6 billion in March, virtually unchanged on the previous month.

Meanwhile, unadjusted imports for the first three months of the year were valued at €31.2 billion, down €3.4 billion on the same time last year.

Seasonally adjusted imports totalled €11.1 billion in March, the CSO said.

Today’s monthly figures show that the EU accounted for €6.91 billion, or 37%, of total goods exports in March, of which €1.873 billion went to Germany, €1.836 billion went to Belgium and €1.163 billion went to the Netherlands.

The US was the main non-EU destination accounting for €5.226 billion (28%) of total exports in March 2024.

Exports to Great Britain came to €1.731 billion, which was 9% of total exports the month, while imports from Great Britain in March hit €1.508 billion – or 13% of the total value of imports.

Article Source – Exports rise by €2.3 billion in first quarter of 2024 – CSO – RTE

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Home prices increased by 7.3% in March amid tight supply

New figures from the Central Statistics Office show that residential property prices grew by 7.3% on an annual basis in March.

This marked the fastest rate of increase since December 2022 and the tenth monthly increase in a row.

The CSO said that home prices rose in Dublin by 7.2% and outside of Dublin by 7.4%, the CSO noted.

Year-on-year home price growth had eased from a peak of 15.1% in February 2022 to a near three-year low of 1.1% last August.

But the supply of new housing is still not growing fast enough to catch up with increased demand.

The CSO said that house prices in Dublin rose by 7.7% while apartment prices rose by 5.3% in the 12 months to March of this year.

The highest house price growth in Dublin was in Dublin City at 9.2% while Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown saw a rise of 5.1%.

Meanwhile, outside of Dublin, house prices were up by 7.2% and apartment prices rose by 10%.

The region outside of Dublin that saw the largest rise in house prices was the Mid-West – Clare, Limerick and Tipperary – at 12.3%.

At the other end of the scale, the Border – Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Monaghan and Sligo – saw a 2.9% rise.

Today’s CSO figures show that the median price of a home bought in the 12 months to March was €333,000.

The lowest median price for a home was €168,000 in Leitrim, while the highest median price was €620,000 in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown.

The most expensive Eircode area was A94 “Blackrock” with a median price of €720,000, while F45 “Castlerea” had the least expensive price of €135,000.

The CSO noted that property prices nationally have increased by 143.2% from their trough in early 2013.

Dublin residential property prices have risen by 142.9% from their February 2012 low, while prices in the Rest of Ireland are 152% higher than at their troughch was in May 2013.

Meanwhile a total of 3,314 homes purchased at market prices were filed with the Revenue Commissioners, down by 19.8% when compared with the 4,132 purchases the same time last year.

The price of new homes in the first quarter of 2024 were 8.4% higher than the same time last year, while the prices of existing homes were 5.7% higher than last year.

Commenting on today’s figures, Goodbody’s chief economist Dermot O’Leary said that housing transactions were quite weak in March and in the first quarter of 2024 overall.

He said that while March may have been influenced by the timing of Easter, a lower turnover of the existing stock lies behind the weakness in the quarterly figures.

“This is a trend that has also been evident in the mortgage lending statistics and stems from a situation where there is a record low stock for sale currently,” the economist said.

Mr O’Leary noted that the non-household sector accounted for 21% of housing transactions in the first three months of this year, but accounted for 41% of new home transactions, adding that the increasing role of State bodies such as Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs) continues to play a factor here.

“There have been conflicting reports about the trends in new home supply from various data in the first quarter,” he said.

“For example, new home completions fell by 12%, yet housing commencements rose by 63%. We believe that the overall direction for supply is upwards, helped by a number of government initiatives such as the waiver on development levies,” he added.

Article Source: Home prices increased by 7.3% in March amid tight supply

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Over €12bn spent using mobile wallets in past year

Over €12 billion was spent using mobile wallets such as Apple Pay and Google pay in the 12 months to March, new data shows.

The figures from Banking and Payments Federation Ireland reveal that mobile wallet payments accounted for more than half of the value of all contactless payments made during the period.

€24 billion was spent across all contactless payment methods, including mobile wallets and cards.

The data shows that mobile wallet payments were most common in Dublin and Carlow, and least common in Roscommon and Monaghan.

“Today’s report shows a shift in consumer behaviour towards the use of mobile wallet payments, which have risen steadily to 649 million payments during the 12 months to March 2024,” said Gillian Byrne, Head of Payments, BPFI.

“The average spend of €18.73 per mobile wallet payment was almost 11% higher than the average contactless payment, likely due to the fact that mobile wallets are not subject to the same payment limit as card-based contactless payments,” she added.

Overall in 2023, 4.1 billion payments were made, or 11 million payments per day.

Most of these payments were through cards, mobile and online banking.

Meanwhile, the BPFI data shows that cheque usage last year fell to less than half the volumes seen in 2019.

Just 15 million payments were made with cheques last year.

“This is despite the fact that Ireland remains an outlier in the euro area as one of four countries with significant cheque usage including Cyprus, Malta and France,” Ms Byrne of BPFI said.

The publication of the report comes ahead of an industry briefing being hosted by BPFI today on the digital euro.

Recent research commissioned by BPFI suggests that only 40% of Irish adults are aware of discussions about the possible introduction of a digital euro.

BPFI describes the digital euro as a “universally accessible electronic equivalent of banknotes and coins”, which it said will “complement” cash.

“Although implementation will be some years away, it too is likely to be introduced in the form of a digital wallet and today’s event will explore the opportunities and challenges for consumers and the industry as plans develop,” Ms Byrne said.

Article Source: Over €12bn spent using mobile wallets in past year

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Public sector workers call for higher starting salaries

Public sector workers will today call for an increase in starting salaries amid claims that pay for new entrants is far too low.

The issue will be debated at the biennial conference of Fórsa, the country’s largest public sector trade union.

More than 700 delegates have gathered in Killarney for the event which began last night and will run until tomorrow.

Around 200 motions are being debated on topics including pay, remote working, sick leave, pensions, artificial intelligence and the rise of the far right.

Last night’s opening session was dominated by the issue of housing.

“The Irish economic success story is being actively undermined by the ongoing accommodation shortages in all Irish cities, towns and rural areas,” Kevin Callinan, Fórsa General Secretary said.

“A growing number of younger people are locked out of housing and locked out of starting an independent life,” Mr Callinan said.

Pay

On the issue of pay, a series of motions will call for increases in the starting salaries of new entrants in the civil and public service.

“This conference instructs the National Executive Committee to negotiate a change to the incremental scale to improve the starting pay and pay progression for new entrants. The starting pay in the public service is still very low and appears to be affecting recruitment,” one motion states.

A new public sector pay deal was agreed in January which provides for pay increases of 10.25% over a two-and-a-half year period.

The deal includes a local bargaining mechanism to allow individual grades, groups and categories of public servants to have specific issues addressed. A number of motions at the Fórsa conference will call for this mechanism to be used to improve low pay for new entrants.

Delegates will also discuss shortening pay scales, the living wage and overtime. One motion calls for the introduction of an urban living allowance.

Sick leave

A number of motions focus on annual leave and sick leave arrangements.

Delegates will hear calls for greater supports in the area of menstrual health, improved domestic violence leave entitlements and enhanced supports for people going through a separation or a divorce.

There are also motions calling for leave entitlements linked to fertility treatment, surrogacy, miscarriage and abortion.

“This conference calls on Fórsa to engage with the Government to implement legislation for abortion leave. No woman should be forced to take ordinary sick leave or unpaid leave and be at a financial loss when accessing this healthcare,” one motion states.

Remote working

Motions on remote working relate to the right to disconnect, blended working expenses as well as calls to safeguard people’s work-life balance.

One motion raises concerns over ‘insidious tools’ and tracking devices used by companies to monitor remote workers.

“This conference calls on the incoming National Executive Committee to ensure that our employer(s) should never be allowed conduct any remote monitoring by installing such software or tools,” according to the motion.

Proposals on artificial intelligence (AI) call on the union to conduct research on how the technology will impact the workplace

One motion suggests that Fórsa should seek a policy of de-automation of Government services so as to protect service provision to the general public.

On international matters, delegates will reaffirm their support for the people of Ukraine, condemn the violence in the Middle East, and will hear calls to boycott and sanction Israel.

Guest speakers

Dr Jilan Wahba Abdalmajid, Palestinian Ambassador to Ireland, is among the guest speakers at the conference.

Delegates will also hear from a range of leading trade unionists including Esther Lynch – General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation, Owen Reidy – General Secretary of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) and Phil Ní Sheaghdha – General Secretary of the Irish Nurses and Midwives’ Organisation (INMO).

Article Source: Public sector workers call for higher starting salaries

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