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What goes up, must come down ….. or does it?




By Ted Healy of DNG TED HEALY

In recent months the rate of property price increases has softened and with that questions have begun to arise around whether a drop in prices could be on the cards.


CSO released the latest Residential Property Price Index (RPPI) on Thursday which shows national prices in the year to the end of August rose by 12.2% - the fifth successive month in which the annual rate of house price growth nationally slowed. Since August of last year, the rate of increase had been climbing in double digits, and it peaked in the early part of the year, prior to the change in the economic climate internationally.

There are a huge number of factors that influence house prices. Like any market though, at its heart it boils down fundamentally to supply and demand.

On the supply front, signs are that the availability might be starting to loosen up a little. Demand is deflating too as rising interest rates and inflation push home ownership out of the reach of some.

The European Central Bank have increased rates by 1.25% and the expectation is there will be two further increases before the year end. Central Bank mortgage lending rules also continue to help keep a lid on house price inflation.

But there are ongoing pressures keeping house prices high, and we continue to have a severe shortage of housing.

And then there is inflation. Construction price inflation was running at 14% on an annual basis in July, according to the Society of Chartered Surveyors. The soaring cost of raw materials, labour and other factors continue to make building more expensive. If this continues, the bump in new home supply we saw earlier could tail off – putting pressure on prices.

A third factor at play is that most of the main lenders here have not yet passed those increases on to borrowers - giving home purchasers some breathing space.

Central Bank data released during the week showed average interest rates here remained steady in August, while at the same time across the Euro zone they rose more markedly. There is an expectation though that the banks won’t be able to hold out on passing through the extra borrowing costs forever.

How likely is it then that house prices could fall?

House prices here have recovered significantly since the depths of the post-Celtic Tiger crash. Nationally they now stand at 2.2% above their highest level recorded in April 2007.

From January 2008 they fell for five straight years until June 2013. Since then, there has only been one four-month period beginning in July 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, that they have fallen slightly, before recovering strongly over the subsequent 24 months.

That recovery was in large part fuelled by significant household savings accumulated during pandemic lockdowns, along with disrupted supply and pent-up demand.

With demand remaining strong and as supply has not yet caught up, leading experts say it is unlikely prices will fall dramatically anytime soon.

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Five questions to ask yourself before buying a stock

By Michael O’Connor, When it comes to investing, nothing is certain. There are no perfect stocks to buy because there’s no way of predicting the future with 100% accuracy. […]




By Michael O’Connor,

When it comes to investing, nothing is certain.

There are no perfect stocks to buy because there’s no way of predicting the future with 100% accuracy.

The truth is, investing is hard, and building a portfolio of top stocks that beat the market is something that even financial professionals have trouble doing consistently.

For most people, investing in index funds is the perfect hands-off approach, providing broad exposure to the stock market at a very low fee. Even my own personal portfolio is made up of roughly 70% ETFs despite the fact I invest in the market for a living.

But I believe some stock picking is a good strategy for many hands-on people.

Taking a small portion of your overall portfolio and diligently selecting a small number of companies to invest in gives you an opportunity to learn about the investing process and fully understand the businesses you are investing in, which helps to build conviction in your positions.

From a psychological standpoint “collector’s instinct” kicks in, enabling people to participate and invest more money over time.

Lastly, for Irish investors, there are tax benefits to consider. If you invest in individual stocks, you are taxed at the CGT rate of 33%, and the first €1,270 of your gains are exempt from CGT each year. When investing in index funds or ETFs, you are taxed at the exit tax rate of 41% with no annual exemption.

For those interested in picking individual stocks, here are five questions you should ask yourself before investing in any company.

Do I understand the business?

Too many people invest in businesses they don’t understand because it ‘sounds good’. If you have no idea how the company works, you won’t have the conviction needed to hold onto the stock when an inevitable downturn comes.

Can the balance sheet withstand severe, temporary adversity?

This seems obvious, but so many people invest in companies without understanding how much money a company holds and who they owe money to. Economic cycles are guaranteed. You must ensure that the company has enough cash-on-hand to avoid becoming obsolete when activity slows.

Will the company benefit from long-term trends?

Make sure the company will remain relevant into the future. If the stock is cheap now, it may be cheap for a reason.

Is the company enjoying profitable growth?

Not growth at all costs, but a combination of sustainable growth and value. All this information can be found online at sites like

What are the risk factors?

Is the company trying something new and untested? If yes, who are its competitors and how successful are they? If other players are more established, this company may have a tough time breaking into the market.


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Ballyspillane staff open up mental health conversation

By Michelle Crean “Hello, How Are You?” that’s the question staff at Ballyspillane Community Centre will be asking next week as part of a new campaign. It’s all in partnership […]




By Michelle Crean

“Hello, How Are You?” that’s the question staff at Ballyspillane Community Centre will be asking next week as part of a new campaign.

It’s all in partnership with Mental Health Ireland (MHI) and the centre will host an information/coffee morning on Thursday next (March 30) at 12.30pm at their centre and all are welcome to attend.

The campaign initiated by MHI identifies the need for positive engagement and connections with the people around us.

It asks people to engage in open conversations about mental health and prompts us all to ask the question “How Are You?”

The word HELLO is a useful acronym to guide everyone through such conversations, H: Hello, E: Engage positively with the person, L: Listen actively, L: Learn about the person and O: seek options to assist the person if required.

“We all need a listening and compassionate ear sometimes to get us through some challenges in our lives and I think the pandemic has opened a new way of looking at the world, where we can all recognise the challenges that people experience more readily,” Derek O’Leary, Manager of Ballyspillane Community & Family Resource Centre, said.

“Our team here are in the business of supporting families and individuals across the Killarney area and beyond and see the challenges that people face first hand. We also see the positive impact that a caring person can have in such circumstances and this campaign that encourages positive engagement, regarding mental health is a great reminder to us all, the role we can play is assisting others who are struggling.”

Ballyspillane Community & Family Resource Centre provide a suite of support and intervention services including family supports, social prescribing/community connection services and physiotherapeutic services across the Killarney municipal area and beyond.


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