The full effect of Britain’s vote to leave the EU has yet to be understood, but short term impacts have already been felt. For the Irish consumer, the weaker sterling has resulted in some welcome savings when shopping. The Irish Times‘ Conor Pope reports that while €1 would have bought you 74p this time last year, it buys you approximately 92p today.
“Buying products directly from UK retailers online has become considerably cheaper since July. The biggest savings can be found in electronics and big-ticket items,” he writes this week. “It rarely gets bigger ticket than a house. Take the example of a 6,000sq ft mansion on 20 acres with lake-shore frontage that came on the market in Fermanagh last week. The asking price is £1.95 million; it will currently cost a euro buyer about €2.145 million. Had it come on the market on June 11th, prior to Brexit, it would have cost the same euro buyer €2.48 million. That’s a drop of €335,000.”
In other news, house prices aren’t the only item where the cost depends on location – the cost of being buried also fluctuates depending on the county. According to a survey commissioned by An Post Insurance, Tipperary is the most expensive county for a ‘standard’ funeral (€6,310), with Wexford ranking as the least expensive (€3,408). Cork has the highest cremation rates at €770; the same option in Galway is the lowest at €527.
“Thankfully, we’re all living longer and healthier lives so hopefully won’t need to think about our burial or cremation for a long time. That said, accidents do happen, and the survey shows that costs are considerable and vary widely,” said financial advisor John Lowe. “And because it’s an event that is a celebration of a life, there’s a natural inclination to add in elements to create a more bespoke – but therefore more expensive – final farewell. That’s why a simple bit of financial planning now can avoid additional heartache for family and loved ones also having to cope with the extra burden of burial costs.”
Health insurance hikes
Finally, the Irish Independent warns that Irish families could face health insurance price hikes of up to €480 – the result of a number of increases announced throughout the year which will only become apparent at renewal time.
“It is not that the companies are trying to hood-wink people, but the creeping effect of multiple small increases means people will be hit with rises of 10pc, 11pc and 13pc,” said Dermot Goode, TotalHealthCover.ie.