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Wednesday, 10th July 2013

Is now the right time to buy a property?

For many people, buying a property will be their biggest ever purchase. Buying a home challenges our rational actions and behaviour. Irish people tend to have a highly emotional attitude to property, related to our history of land ownership. However, a long-term decision like buying property should be the opposite of emotional. It should be made with great caution. Gather all the facts, not just the opinions of others, assess those facts and weigh up the pros and cons.

Mortgage interest rates are likely to increase because the banks are starved of cash and many of the loans on their balance sheets are non-performing. Standard Variable Rate (SVR) mortgages look like a guaranteed way to raise money for a cash-starved bank. SVR can be raised at the banks’ discretion, such increases potentially putting

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Wednesday, 10th July 2013

Exciting opportunity for first time buyers and Meadowbank, Ballinaneeshagh, Cork Road, Waterford

Sherry FitzGerald John Rohan now offer an exciting opportunity for first time buyers and investors with the release of ten 3 bedroom semi detached homes in Meadowbank, Ballinaneeshagh, Waterford. Offering tremendous value with asking prices from e65,000. Meadowbank is a modern residential development situated just off the Cork Road adjacent to Waterford Industrial Estate and neighbouring Waterford Institute of Technology. Located within close proximity to the city bypass, the City Centre is only a five minute drive away and there is also a frequent bus service.

The properties available are spacious semi detached homes approximately 1018 sq ft (95 sq m) of traditional concrete block construction. These new homes offer low maintenance living for today’s busy lifestyle such as:

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Wednesday, 10th July 2013

Fine Gael Waterford Deputy, Paudie Coffey, has welcomed news that the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Phil Hogan TD, has approved €475,000 in funding that will allow for the first phase of works to begin in the Dunmore East Water Supply Scheme. This funding follows on from last week when the Minister approved €2.8 million for the Cheekpoint part of the seven village sewerage upgrade.

"The Grouped Towns and Villages Sewerage Scheme is included in the Department’s Water Services Investment Programme 2010 – 2013 at an estimated cost of over €50 million. This is a significant capital investment in county Waterford and includes the villages of Dunmore East, Cheekpoint, Kilmacthomas, Stradbally, Kilmeaden/Ballyduff, Cappoquin and Tallow.

"This phase of the works involves the construction of a new pumping station at Corbally Beg to boost water from the East Waterford Water

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Wednesday, 10th July 2013

Thousands of people are enjoying warmer weather activities at waterways nationwide yet there is an ever present danger that people will drown even in close proximity to shore and close to other water users. Irish Water Safety (IWS) is calling on the public to avoid unsupervised bathing areas and to swim in an area that has a lifeguard. Irish Water Safety has details of all lifeguarded waterways nationwide listed at

Having IWS assessed Lifeguards nearby is reassuring in case you need advice, help with first aid or missing children. They are trained to prevent or react to unexpected incidents where seconds can make a difference. However, Lifeguards are not a child minding service and members of the public have a duty of care to protect themselves and their families when visiting waterways nationwide.

Knowing the dangers will reduce the

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Wednesday, 3rd July 2013

Will Ireland exit its current bailout programme by the end of 2013?

Ireland’s macro-economic landscape has improved dramatically over the last number of years but challenges still remain.

Fiscal compliance is the only component fully under the Irish Government’s control.

Growth levels will largely be determined by the international export market.

Bank recapitalisations represent the great unknown in Ireland’s fiscal horizon.

A prolonged European recession presents the greatest risk for Ireland’s longer term debt sustainability.

There is a need for increased domestic growth initiatives in the short term.

The Government’s steadfast commitment to austerity over the last six years now allows for additional domestic growth policies immediately without harming Ireland’s fiscal credibility.

Ireland should seek some leniency in its deficit reduction targets, similar to what was granted to Spain in April 2013.

Maintaining Ireland’s fiscal credibility is critical but following the stabilisation of Ireland’s finances, fiscal credibility can now

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Wednesday, 3rd July 2013

Asking prices for property in both Waterford city and county have continued to fall in the second quarter of the year, according to the latest survey from property website

The survey shows the median asking price in the city fell 6.3% in the quarter to €149,000 and in the county by 5.6% to €169,000.

The asking price for a threebed semi in Waterford fell in the second quarter of the year by almost 8% to €143,000, almost half the asking price at the 2006 peak. The median price of a 4-bed semi was 14.6% lower in the quarter at €158,000 – a fall of almost 27% in the past year and a bigger annual decline than in any other Irish county

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Tuesday, 25th June 2013

John Smiles

Can I transfer my UK pension to Ireland?

People, who worked in the UK and built up a fund in a UK pension and are back living in Ireland, may now bring their pension home.

Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) introduced legislation in April 2006, allowing any UK pension to be transferred to another country once the receiving pension has been approved by HMRC. This is known as a Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS).

The advantages of moving are:

- You are no longer only restricted to a set income for life. Now, you can choose how and when you want to access your retirement fund.

- The taxation regime in the event of death compares favourably with the UK where death taxes can be up to 73%.

- Reduce the risk of potential currency issues in retirement by moving your pension into

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Wednesday, 19th June 2013

John Smiles

Qualified Financial Advisor

How secure are Irish bank deposits?

Until very recently, depositors in European banks held the following core beliefs:

- The Europe-wide Deposit Guarantee Scheme (DGS) was sacrosanct for amounts below€100,000.

- Depositors above€100,000 would be protected by governments.

• The European Central Bank would support Eurozone governments to protect depositors.

• The European Stability Mechanism (ESM) would provide funding to recapitalise banks.

• Capital could move freely within the Eurozone.

Recent events in and around Cyprus have challenged, if not fundamentally undermined, widely-held beliefs about the security of deposits. In March, Cyprus requested a bail-out. The initial plan was to levy a tax on all depositors, with a lower level applying to deposits under€100k. The plan was resoundingly defeated in the Cypriot parliament and following further discussions, a new plan was unveiled which included:

- No levies/taxes/haircuts on deposits under€100,000

- Complex arrangements for amounts above€100,000

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Wednesday, 19th June 2013

Threshold welcomes PRTB Index as "Comprehensive & Accurate Source" of Information for Tenants, Landlords and Government

Threshold, the national housing charity, has welcomed the new rent index by the Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB) as the most comprehensive and accurate source of data on the private rented market.

The index, which shows rent levels throughout Ireland, is based on data collected from landlords registered with the PRTB. The index published today tracks trends in rent levels since 2007. From now on, the PRTB will publish its rent index on a quarterly basis.

Welcoming the index, Senator Aideen Hayden, Chairperson of Threshold, said it is a valuable source of information for tenants and landlords.

"The publication of this index is a very welcome move. This provides more accurate information on rent levels for the first time," she said. "Up to now, we have been reliant

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Wednesday, 19th June 2013

A Ratepayer Support Team from the Valuation Office will be based in Waterford from Monday 17th June to assist local businesses in relation to the National Revaluation Programme which is nearing completion across the county.

The Team will be based in the Property Registration Authority (PRA) offices, Cork Road, Waterford city. Ratepayers can meet the Team in person at the PRA offices between 10:30am and 4:30pm from Monday to Friday, to clarify any issues or answer any questions which they may have in relation to their recently received Proposed Valuation Certificates and the making of representations.

While in Waterford, members of the Team held an information session for business representative groups on the outcome of the Revaluation process to date on Tuesday, 18th June in the Large Room, City Hall, Waterford at 6:00pm. The event was attended by members of the Waterford

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Letters to the Editor

  • Waiting can be bad for your He...

    When the latest statistic that waiting times for patients had risen to their highest level yet, there can't have been too many people that were surprised.There are now over 700.000 people on waiting lists with over 50.000 of them children. That so many people are waiting for treatment in one of the most developed economies in the world is truly frightening. Of course you can take into account the underfunding of the health sector during the economic downturn but it still wouldn't fully explain why so ma …

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