Ireland’s Guide To Money And Living

Consumer watch

Consumer watch

Photo: iStock

Digital boost

According to the Irish Independent, Ireland’s bricks and mortar shops are losing out to online sales. Personal Finance Editor Charlie Weston notes that while spending increased in December 2017, online spending represents a large portion. The insights come as part of Visa’s latest Irish Consumer Spending Index.

“Online shopping, up 7.4pc compared with the previous year, was helped by the increasing popularity of online sales events such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday,” he writes. “However, some commentators have complained that these events benefit big online retailers and are sucking spending out of shops. The rise in online shopping meant household spending in Ireland continued to go up at a solid pace at the end of 2017.”

Mortgage concerns

Elsewhere, mortgages continue to weigh heavy on consumers’ minds, according to Mortgage Brain Ireland. Their free mortgage calculation app – Irish Mortgages – has been used more than 30,000 times and has run over 40,000 calculations since launching in May 2015. Cost is their main concern, comprising 66% of calculations. The app calculates the monthly cost of a mortgage, the size of the deposit and income required, as well as a calculator to determine how much can be borrowed.

Controlling rents

Finally, could rent controls kick in and do their job in reducing rental property increases in 2018? The Irish Times‘ Fiona Reddan is uncertain, citing four key issues including exemptions (such as new builds) and the Residential Tenancies Board’s ability to monitor the market.

“Given the shortage of properties, many tenants won’t bring a case if their landlord increases the rent by more than 4 per cent; and in the case of new tenancies, a prospective tenant has no way of knowing whether the advertised rate is in line with rent control rules,” she writes.

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When not writing about all things personal finance, You & Your Money’s editor Conor Forrest enjoys reading, football and getting lost in an ocean of Wikipedia articles.

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