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Making the first step on to the property ladder

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Over the next few weeks we will discuss the steps involved in purchasing your first home.

This week Step 1 is The Deposit. Before we decide to jump on the property ladder we need to have sufficient funds together for the deposit.

Steps to buying that first home:

THE DEPOSIT

Saving the deposit for a new home has become one of the biggest challenges facing young people today. First-time buyers typically need a deposit equivalent to a tenth of the value of their home and with the average asking price of a home nationwide being almost €250,000, that is a significant hurdle.
Soaring house prices have added to the challenge - the longer it takes to get the deposit together for a home, the more likely a house hunter is to be priced out of a particular area.
So how do you save that deposit as quickly as possible?

MOVE BACK HOME

With rents soaring it could take decades to save up the deposit for a home and for this reason, it makes sense to move back home with your parents if saving for a deposit.

ASK FOR HELP

Many young buyers have turned to their parents for help with the house deposit. The vast majority of first-time buyers are getting gifts from their parents towards the deposit.
Lenders require you to have a gift letter from the donor. That letter specifies the sum of money being gifted, the name of the donor, and a signature from the donor confirming that you do not need to repay the money gifted - and that the donor has no recourse to the property.

START SAVING NOW

The earlier you start to save up regularly for your deposit, and the fussier you are about the account you choose, the better. Boost the amount you can save by cutting back on luxuries and leading a cheaper lifestyle. Save into an account which pays better interest than normal. Regular savings accounts typically pay better interest than lump sum deposit accounts - as long as you choose an account which pays more than one percent interest.

CONSIDER OTHER AREAS

Many first-time buyers have their hearts set on buying in a particular area - but are quickly forced to look elsewhere due to soaring prices. Moving to the satellite towns and villages could make it easier to afford a home, and get the deposit together. Know what you're getting into before making such a move though. Think about how you will commute to work - and how practical the commute is.
Be aware too that moving away from family and friends can be difficult. If you have children, or are thinking of having children, ask what kind of support network you will have around you in your home.

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Broadening the Vacant Homes grant

By Ted Healy of DNG TED HEALY  Vacant property grants of up to €50,000 are to be extended to all vacant properties across the country in a bid to bring […]

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By Ted Healy of DNG TED HEALY
 

Vacant property grants of up to €50,000 are to be extended to all vacant properties across the country in a bid to bring as many unoccupied buildings back into use as family homes.

Until now the grant has provided financial supports to refurbished vacant properties in towns and villages only.

However, at the time of writing, it is expected that Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien will announce that he is bringing properties in inner city areas including Cork, Dublin, Galway, and Limerick as well as one-off farmhouses in rural locations into the scheme.

Over 400 applications for the scheme have been made to date since its launch in July of this year. While the qualifying criteria is to be broadened out, it is understood that there are currently no plans to increase the €50m which had been originally allocated for the scheme.

However, this could be reviewed if the scheme is oversubscribed.

Under the scheme, a grant of up €30,000 is available for the refurbishment of vacant properties for occupation as a principal private residence, including the conversion of a property which has not been used as residential heretofore.

However, people can apply for a top-up grant of up to €20,000 where the property is derelict and structurally unsound.

The grants, which are primarily aimed at helping first-time buyers to bridge the cost of refurbishing older and unused homes can also be combined with supports received under the Sustainable Energy Authority Of Ireland (SEAI) Better Energy Homes scheme.

Properties must be vacant for two years or more and built before 1993 to qualify.

Preliminary results from Census 2022 recorded more than 166,000 dwellings as vacant in the State.

While some of these may have been unoccupied on a temporary basis, more than 30% (48,387) of the dwellings vacant in 2022 were also out of use when the previous Census was carried out in 2016.

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Proceed with caution

By Michael O’Connor, theislandinvestor.com Stock Market Surge Last week we saw a considerable rally in the stock market. On Thursday, lower-than-expected inflation figures were well received, resulting in the largest […]

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By Michael O’Connor, theislandinvestor.com

Stock Market Surge

Last week we saw a considerable rally in the stock market. On Thursday, lower-than-expected inflation figures were well received, resulting in the largest one-day rally in over two and a half years.

Although US inflation remains near its highest level since the early 1980s, the latest monthly Consumer Price Index report brought some relief. Inflation rose at an annual 7.7% rate in October – down from 8.2% in September. This was enough to push the NASDAQ up more than 8%, while the S&P 500 added 6% for the week.

So as improving inflation numbers push markets higher, should investors be jumping in headfirst to avoid missing yet another market rally?

Not quite.

Not Out of the Woods Yet

In the last two years, we have seen rapid market recoveries play out at breakneck speed as Monetary support, ultra-low interest rates, and fiscal stimulus all conspired to drive markets higher.

In simple terms, when money is free, and governments are hell-bent on continuously printing more and more of it, asset prices increase.

This exuberance pushed prices and valuation multiples to questionable highs. Now, however, the money printer has been turned off, and interest rates have increased dramatically, leaving us in a far less supportive environment. Unsurprisingly, asset prices have fallen accordingly.

This recent pullback has stripped out much of the excess from markets, leaving stocks trading at much more attractive prices.

Household names such as Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Tesla, Disney, Nike, Netflix, and Facebook have fallen between 30% and 75% in recent months. Now, the entry points into some of the best companies in the world are much easier to digest. This is welcome news for investors with a long-term outlook. But over the short term, it is vital to realise that many of these names are trading lower for a reason.

It can be tempting to assume that we will return to all-time high valuations now that inflation is starting to turn and markets have stripped out much of the excess in valuations. However, as we stare down the barrel of falling earnings, slowing economic activity, a less supportive monetary policy and persistent inflation, it would be naive to think that it’s all upside from here.

The positive momentum from last Thursday’s inflation print will fade, leaving market participants wrestling with the looming recessionary pressures.

Taking all the above into consideration, I believe the stock markets will remain within the 10% range it has traded in over the last month. This is likely to result in volatile horizontal trading over the coming weeks and months as positive moves due to falling inflation give way to market declines as earnings growth continues to slow.

Summary

The market appears to be moving past its overwhelming obsession with inflation, but unfortunately, this paves the way for all new worries. The slowing economic activity that is allowing inflation to fall in the first place now becomes enemy number one. Softer demand will lead to lower spending, leading to lower earnings which should theoretically lead to lower stock prices.

Unfortunately, the ferris wheel of worry continues to spin.

Considering all the above, I believe the stock market will remain within the 10% range it has traded in over the last month. This is likely to result in volatile horizontal trading over the coming weeks and months as positive moves due to falling inflation give way to market declines as earnings growth continues to slow.

Over the long-term, opportunities are more plentiful than ever as valuation multiples improve but for those expecting to make a quick buck over the coming weeks and months, proceed with caution.

If you have any questions reach out at www.theislandinvestor.com, I’m always happy to help.

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