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Wednesday, 11th January 2017

House prices in Waterford city and county are expected to rise by 8% in 2017, a survey by the Real Estate Alliance Group has found.

Limited supply and the easing of first time buyers restrictions are expected to continue the 9.1% growth that the city – and 13.8% that the county – experienced in 2016, according to REA.

This comes as the REA Average House Price Survey revealed that prices in Waterford city had increased by €15,000 over the past year – with the average three-bed semi now costing €180,000.

Three-bed semi prices in the county rose by €20,000 to €165,000 in the same time period.

“The announcement of the easing of the Central Bank restrictions has given the market great short-term hope, but the real problem in the property lies in supply," said REA chairman Eamonn Spratt, of REA Spratt in Dungarvan.

“We are

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Wednesday, 11th January 2017

Michael Garland,

bizBoost Chair,

Waterford Business Group

Time to support our own!

One Swallow doesn’t make a summer!

It is not one good quality that makes a man!

These are certainly two sayings that could well be used to paraphrase the Festive shopping period in Waterford City. Some, quite wrongly assumed, that as there appeared to have been large numbers of people visiting Waterford in December, taking in the wonders of Winterval, exploring the architecture of Ireland’s oldest city, visiting our retailers, that businesses have, figuratively speaking, made a “killing!"

This of course could not be further from the truth. Many businesses have done well over the festive period, with the hotels, restaurants and entertainment establishments being particularly buoyant. There can be no doubt, that general retail had at best flat sales when compared to 2016 and some sales were even slightly down on last year. Many

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Wednesday, 4th January 2017

John Smiles

Qualified Financial Advisor

Is long term care

affordable?

Rising life expectancy over the last 50 years means that today’s 65 year olds can look forward to at least another 20 years of life. However, living longer raises the problem of years of infirmity requiring intensive and expensive care. Who should pay for that care has become increasingly important for individuals, government and society?

Currently, long-term care in Ireland is financed principally from general taxation and private out-of-pocket expenditure. The public health system provides both residential and community services, but current funding arrangements favour residential care.

A subvention is available for care in a private nursing home if the recipient satisfies dependency criteria and a means-test. The level of subvention currently payable is generally insufficient to bridge the gap between income and the cost of care.

An insurance policy to provide long term care was considered

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Wednesday, 4th January 2017

The Government’s recent strategy for the Rental Sector is deeply unfair to landlords who didn’t raise rents to the high levels of many of their counterparts and is flawed because it is largely informed by the RTB (Residential Tenancies Board) quarterly rent index which records less than 10pc of rentals

- according to IPAV, the Institute of Professional Auctioneers & Valuers.

Pat Davitt, IPAV’s Chief Executive says that while there are 320,000 tenancies across the country, just 30,260 new tenancies were registered in Quarter 3 2016, the period that informs the latest RTB index. “The index itself is very accurate but the quarterly reports now published cover only new tenancies within any quarter. A policy that is informed by less than 10pc of a market is no basis on which to justify such major intervention in the private housing market,” he said.

Mr

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Wednesday, 21st December 2016

Michael Garland,

bizBoost Chair,

Waterford Business Group

It’s Christmas time!

Nollaig Shona, Nadolig Llawen, Joyeux Noël, Fröhliche

Weihnachten and as we say in Scotland Merry Christmas!

Yes, yes, yes, there are only a few days left, until the Big Man dressed in red, creeps down your chimney in the middle of the night, wanders around your house, whilst you are asleep, eats your food, deposits a few presents and then leaves! Now if you think about that, logically, that’s weird and unsettling. But, “Hey Ho!” it is Christmas time and this is the only time of the year when our houses are open season for a stranger to simply waltz in.

I hope that all your letters have been sent and posted on time, by snail mail. Reaching those wee elves, who work tirelessly, 24-hours-a-day, making millions of toys, in time for a delivery deadline date of

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Wednesday, 21st December 2016

John Smiles

Qualified Financial Advisor

Should I cash in my final salary pension?

It is calculated that the ‘return’ on a defined benefit pension transfer value for the past seven years could be as high as 25% per year— a total return of about 480%. Pretty amazing given that it was closely linked to the bond market.

Financial markets have taught us over and over again that returns of 20% + are unsustainable over the long term. Current bond yields of around zero or even negative in many cases are unsustainable and don’t make sense on a medium-term view. With Mr Trump’s expected reflationary policies, it’s beginning to look like the 30-year bond bull market might be ending - November was the global bond market’s worst month in 25 years.

In 2009, a person in their mid-40s requesting a transfer value for an expected pension

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Wednesday, 21st December 2016

Tramore Voluntary Housing Association is pleased to announce that its project to build 18 independent living units within a sheltered environment for older persons in Tramore is on track for construction to begin in 2017. The site at Ballycarnane, Tramore has been acquired from Waterford Council. “Summerhill Haven” is the name of the new development. Full planning permission has been received and grant aid of €2.4 million has been approved by the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government.

Architects, Reddy Architecture + Urbanism, have been appointed and tender documents are currently being prepared The project will go to tender in January 2017. Construction is expected to begin early in 2017 and to be completed by Summer 2018.

The board of Tramore Voluntary Housing Association would like to thank all those who have donated funds to us or who helped us

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Wednesday, 21st December 2016

The inclusion of Waterford as a ‘Rent Pressure Zone’ has been welcomed by local Minister for Training, Skills and Innovation John Halligan T.D.

Rental costs in the city will be assessed by mid-January and designation will result in local landlords not being permitted to increase rents beyond 4% per annum over the next three years.

"Rents in Waterford city have risen uncontrollably in the last couple of years and were 11.2% higher last September than the previous year, the largest annual increase ever recorded by property website Daft.ie ", Minister Halligan noted.

"While the new Rental Strategy certainly won't address the rental crisis in its entirety, this move will ensure that, going on this pace, annual rent hikes in Waterford can be reduced by around two thirds."

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Wednesday, 14th December 2016

John Smiles

Is spread-betting gambling or investing?

Spread betting is the term used to describe investors who trade in contracts for difference [CFD]. A CFD is a contract between two parties, a "buyer" and a "seller", stipulating that the seller will pay the buyer the difference between the current value of an asset and its value at contract time (if the difference is negative, then the buyer pays the seller instead).

CFDs provide investors with the all the benefits and risks of owning a security without actually owning it. CFDs are usually leveraged trades, so it is possible to make big bets with a relatively small amount of money in your trading account. Trading firms typically offer leverage in excess of 200:1 with some offering up to 500:1. This means if you make the right call you can win big but if you

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Wednesday, 14th December 2016

At the Council Meeting (6th December), Waterford City and County Council approved the Annual Budget which provided for no increase in Commercial Rates for 2017. Waterford Chamber has welcomed this decision by the Council, recognising that the current economic environment remains uncertain for many businesses and that any increase might have the potential to slow down the progress being made throughout Waterford going forward.

Waterford Chamber President, Laurent Borla said, “We welcome this decision by the Council and very much appreciate that it recognises the importance for the business environment to prosper in Waterford City and County over the next 12-month period. We acknowledge the efforts of the Council to support the business community and in turn this places a responsibility on us all to focus on developing the economy here in Waterford for the benefit of all concerned. We believe

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Letters to the Editor

  • OUR VIEW

    Waterford Institute of TechnologyWaterford Institute of Technology is once again making national headlines for all the wrong reasons. At the recent Public Accounts Committee meeting representatives of WIT were questioned and in turn left more questionsunanswered. The Chairman of the P.A.C. Sean Fleming, T.D.,Fianna Fail, called the failure to have up to date accounts for W.I.T. as “disgraceful”.Faced with a deficit of €15m. the financial problems facing the Institute are very …

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