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More money, more problems




By Michael O’Connor

This week, the Central Bank eased their lending limits to allow first-time buyers to borrow up to four times their income, an increase from 3.5 times set in place following the housing bubble fiasco of 2008.

I appreciate that for those looking to buy a house in the current market, this represents an opportunity to finally get on the property ladder and is welcome support.

However, the reality is, it is these extended credit facilities that have driven house prices higher over the last 30 years. Creating financial mechanisms to allow home buyers to tie themselves to more and more debt is not the solution that is needed.

Imaginary Wealth

Wage increases are not the factor driving the housing market to 'unaffordable' prices. Our new-found ability to justify these surging prices is thanks to some banking wizardry.

Longer mortgage terms and lower and lower interest rates have ensured that monthly payments are as affordable as they have ever been.

Yes, €500,000 is a sizeable mortgage, but if you spread it out over 35 years at historically low-interest rates, suddenly it seems justifiable, manageable even. The bidder most willing to shackle themselves to this life sentence 'wins'.

But what happens as interest rates rise? The very thing we thought we could afford is no longer affordable as the terms of the deal change.

All this credit in the system stops working when the cost to borrow starts to increase. We no longer can afford the things we thought we could afford. The imaginary wealth we thought we had, disappears.

And yet the solution from the Central Bank is to allow more leverage in the system in a rising interest rate environment.

Can't afford a home?

Not to worry, we will just lend you more money so we can prop up this house of cards just a little longer.

Pumping more money into an already inflationary environment does the exact opposite of what is needed. Instead of addressing supply issues and regulatory issues, they continue to focus on mechanisms to help justify current prices.

The Root of the Problem

Increasing the leverage in the system just kicks the can down the road. Currently, the data shows that home sales are slowing dramatically in the face of higher interest rates and a slowing economy. We are in the middle of a stand off between buyers and sellers. Buyers who can't afford to purchase at current prices as interest rates rise and sellers who don't want to sell at a price lower than their neighbour sold for.

Instead of leaving the market dynamics of supply and demand play out, allowing some downward pressure on house prices, the Central Bank has thrown a bone to sellers and disguised it as a benefit for buyers. They hope that this attempt to 'help' buyers stretch just a little further will be enough to keep the wheels turning. It won't.

Once Again

Allowing more leverage in the system to help justify higher and higher prices is not the answer. Doing it in the face of inevitably higher interest rates is simply thoughtless.

We simply didn't build enough homes following the last housing crash to meet the demand coming from millennials reaching their household formation years.

Perhaps addressing this generationally undersupply would be a more worthwhile endeavour instead of extending lines of credit, the very thing that facilitated this price surge in the first place.

Just a thought.

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Killarney and District Motor Club members honoured by Motorsport Ireland

By Cormac Casey Several members of Killarney and District Motor Club were honoured at the Motorsport Ireland awards lunch in Dublin on Wednesday. The highlight of the event is the […]




By Cormac Casey

Several members of Killarney and District Motor Club were honoured at the Motorsport Ireland awards lunch in Dublin on Wednesday.

The highlight of the event is the announcement of the sport’s top awards.

Kilkenny’s Jack Brennan (19) was named Young Rally Driver of the Year, while Wexford native Jack Byrne was named Young Racing Driver of the Year and the International Driver of the Year award went to recently crowned FIA Junior World Rally Champion, William Creighton.

Muckross-based co-driver Noel O’Sullivan was presented with his Irish Tarmac Rally Championship winning trophy.

This year saw the introduction of the Motorsport Ireland President’s Awards which celebrate the achievements of  clubs and organisations.

Killarney and District Motor Club won in the innovation category for their work with their KDMC 2 initiative thanks to the efforts of the club’s vice chairman Mike O’Shea.

Rally Rescue teams were also recognised and the club’s Mike Cleary picked up an award for his role he played in what was a difficult year for rescue crew operators.

Tom O’Riordan, who looks after ambulance procurement on the club’s events, was presented with an FIA Volunteer Pin by Motorsport Ireland President Aiden Harper.

Killarney Advertiser Journalist Sean Moriarty was presented with an award for best use of of PR and media in 2023.


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Kerry Mental Health and Wellbeing Fest ‘thank you’ event at Brehon

Participation in the 2023 Kerry Mental Health and Wellbeing Fest has grown by more than 100% since 2020 with 98% of those who gave feedback saying they would attend similar […]




Participation in the 2023 Kerry Mental Health and Wellbeing Fest has grown by more than 100% since 2020 with 98% of those who gave feedback saying they would attend similar events again in 2024.

Feedback from more than 100 people who attended this year’s Fest events from 7th to 14th October was positive with 91% stating they were satisfied.
The Kerry Mental Health and Wellbeing Fest is held annually over the course of a week to highlight World Mental Health Day on October 10.
It aims to raise awareness of the available supports and services in Kerry as well as empower people to engage with the ‘Five Ways to Wellbeing’ through offering a dynamic and interactive programme of events.
99% percent of respondents, most of whom identified as female, said they would recommend the Fest to friends next year. Some key notes for improvement included a request for more events with wider variety throughout the county.
The Chair of the Interagency Steering Group, John Drummey from Kerry Mental Health Association, said: “We wish to extend a heartfelt thanks to event organisers, community groups, businesses, funders and partners that facilitated the Fest’s dynamic and interactive programme of events in 2023. We are encouraged to see such growth in numbers attending the Fest events with a 50% increase from 2022. We are already making plans for the Fest from 5 to 12t October 2024 and we are looking forward to building on this year’s successes. That said, there is always room for improvement and we would welcome suggestions for new events and activities.”
Many of the event organisers attended a ‘thank-you’ event at the Brehon Hotel, Killarney, courtesy of the Kerry Volunteer Centre to coincide with the annual International Volunteer Day, December 5.
The Kerry Mental Health and Wellbeing Fest was organised by an interagency steering group made up of local agencies that support wellbeing in our community.
The organising committee is a collaboration between Connecting for Life Kerry, Healthy Kerry, Kerry County Council, Kerry Recreation & Sports Partnership, the HSE, NEWKD, SKDP, Kerry Mental Health Association, Jigsaw Kerry, Munster Technological University/Kerry, KDYS, Kerry Volunteer Centre and Family Resource Centres throughout the county.

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