The figures point to an uptick in mortgage activity since May 2016, after a slow start. Year-to-date (January to July), based on the three-month moving average, show that activity has changed little since 2015, with volumes down 2.6 per cent year-on-year and values up 1.2 per cent, reflecting the increase in the average FTB mortgage approval value.

Home buyers prepare for autumn selling season by getting pre-approved in the summer; switchers continue to seek out the best deal(...)

Chairman Carl McCann said the group delivered “a very strong performance” in the first six months of the year, as the group continued its expansion in north America in 2016, acquiring 65 per cent of Progressive Produce, a company headquartered in Los Angeles, as well as a number of other investments. (Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times)

Acquisitions and expansion in north America boosts fresh food group as pre-tax profits jump 5.8%; Davy reiterates ‘outperform’ rat(...)

Tollbooths on the M7: there are four providers of tag accounts in Ireland. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Regular users of toll roads should consider their tag options

Central Bank: its  study showed that while many people were grateful simply to get a job during a recession, it was a bad time to get hired as employers tend to lower what they offer new hires

Central Bank study finds employers cut earnings for new workers as unemployment rose

The offer is available to current account customers who draw down a new first-time buyer, mover or switcher mortgage before March 31st next. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons / The Irish Times

Bank of Ireland will give 3% cashback as mortgage competition heats up

Previous efforts to incentivise first-time buyers  have failed, so is the Government heading the right direction this time? Photograph: Getty Images

‘Help-to-Buy’ scheme will likely exclude returning emigrants who bought property abroad

The Central Bank’s consultation on mortgage lending  is set to run until August 31st. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Regulator receives just 16 submissions as part of its review of rules

A combination of soaring rents, restrictive mortgage lending and a preponderance of contract work, as opposed to permanent, full-time work, means getting a first step on the property ladder has become increasingly difficult for millennials.

Tighter mortgage rules and lack of supply splitting market into ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’

Dalata said the deal to operate the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Dublin 4 was subject to further due diligence. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Hotel group says it has entered into exclusive discussions on Dublin 4 hotel leasehold

Hostelworld’s losses for the six months to June 30th narrowed to €5.5 million from €14.6 million in the same period in 2015.

Irish travel website on track to meet full-year expectations in challenging market

At €230 a week, the pay for fathers is the same rate of pay for statutory maternity leave. Photograph: iStock

From September 1st dads can take two weeks off but they need to do the paperwork

The Commission for Aviation Regulation said on Monday that it has received 3,040 claims for refund from passengers on foot of bookings with Lowcostholidays.

Affected customers have until September 19th to lodge their claim with commission

Graduates of TCD who opt for courses like business, economic and social studies (510 points) or mathematics (565) and end up working in financial services are some of the best paid graduates in the country, figures from Emolument show. Photograph: Chris Ison/PA Wire

Salaries for construction careers yet to rebound despite jump in demand for courses

Wireless Group owns seven stations in Ireland, six of them in the Republic, including  FM104  in Dublin

Impact of Brexit on advertising revenues still unclear Belfast-based media group says

The numbers relying on the State pension jumped from 26 per cent in 2009 to 36 per cent in 2015, according to the CSO

Pensions Authority reforms aim to make private schemes simpler and increase uptake

While the number of Irish parents staying at home has shrunk significantly over the past few  decades, the proportion of fathers opting to do so has risen substantially.

Survey finds Irish underestimate cost of stay-at-home parenting

Prudential reported a forecast-beating six per cent rise in first-half operating profit to £2.06 billion (€2.4 billion), led by growth in Asia. Photograph: Bobby Yip/Reuters

Insurer’s M&G arm considers increasing Dublin-domiciled funds following Brexit vote

Irish 10-year yields have plunged from 0.825 per cent at the start of July as markets reacted to the UK’s decision to leave the European Union. Photograph: Peter Nicholls/Reuters

Yield on 10-year bonds sinks to 0.363 per cent as borrowing costs fall across EU periphery

A three-bed semi detached can be yours for €95,000 at Esker Glenn, Drumlish, Co. Longford. (Photograph:

Survey points to ‘three-tier’ property market with rural counties Leitrim and Longford left behind by house price recovery

The Banking & Payments Federation Ireland  figures show that 6,803 mortgages, to a value of €1.29 billion, were drawn down in the second quarter of 2016

This was the highest second quarter drawdown since 2010, with 6,803 home loans

Central Bank found that on regular payment pensions the commission rate can be as high as 15-50 per cent of the first year’s annual premium. Photograph: Thierry Roge/Reuters

Central Bank to review the risks to consumers of commission payments to financial advisers

Ires Reit owns and lets 102 apartments at The Marker in Dublin’s docklands.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

Despite restrictions Ires Reit increased rents by up to 12% in its Dublin properties this year

Beacon South Quarter in Sandyford, Dublin, where Ires Reit is building 68 apartments at a cost of about €22.7 million. They are expected to generate a gross yield of 8.5 per cent to 9 per cent. Photograph : Matt Kavanagh

Ireland’s biggest private landlord says rents rose €35 a month to €1,399 in first half

Frank Murphy: ‘The biggest challenge was people saying why didn’t someone think of this before? Where’s the catch?’

Frank Murphy’s idea was brilliantly simple: enable people to pay in their own currency

RSA saw  premiums for its Irish business rise 11 per cent in the first half of the year on the back of hefty rate increases. Photograph: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Losses shrink to £1m at Irish arm of British insurer as it returns to operating profit

British bookmaker Ladbrokes reported a 7.5 per cent drop in betting in its Irish business in the first half of the year, reflecting a smaller Irish presence since its restructing in 2015. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Decline in Irish business reflects British bookmaker’s smaller footprint

UDG said it had not yet seen any material impact of the UK Brexit vote on underlying trading performance. Photograph: David Sleator

Healthcare services provider eyes potential acquisitions

Group says Brexit has weakened consumer confidence but long-term effect unknown

The value of Aviva Ireland new business in life and pensions soared by 58 per cent to €14.6 million in the first half of the year. Photograph: Jason Alden/Bloomberg

Strong growth in new life and pensions business helps drive profitability

One entrepreneurial Dublin host is offering an airbed - which will be placed in the living room of a city-centre apartment - for €38 a night.

Dublin rates on Airbnb now surpass Paris for a room on the house-sharing site

Irish consumer sentiment declined in July in the wake of the UK’s decision to exit the European Union, but the scale of the drop was relatively modest.

Scale of decline in consumer sentiment is modest relative to March or May results

Redbrook prepares a large variety of ambient ready-to-use water or oil-based marinades for its food partners. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Food ingredients group employs 39 people in Mulhuddart

Ryanair  became the first airline in the world to carry more than 11 million international passengers in one month. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Airline transported more than 11m passengers in July despite Brexit and French strikes

Dublin may be primed to secure additional business once the UK exits the EU, according to PwC. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Irish capital is primed to benefit from post-Brexit opportunities, according to PwC

Michael Carvill, managing director Kenmare Resources. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Mining group implements price increases in suphate ilmenite market

Decline in new orders from Irish manufacturers noted for first time  in three years. Photograph: Alan Betson

Britain’s vote to leave EU is starting to hurt Irish manufacturing exports

A number of home insurance providers, including Zurich, are currently offering multi-year insurance policies with cover available for up to three years. Photograph: iStockphoto

Locking into two- or three-year deals with insurers has its advantages – and its downsides

A survey by Ibec of more than 450 Irish businesses has highlighted the intense currency strain on exporters following Britain’s vote to exit the EU. Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA

Ibec says exporters face a ‘full-blown currency crisis’ as sterling declines after vote

The Larne project will store energy in the form of compressed air in caverns created in salt deposits at depths of about 1.5km on the Islandmagee peninsula on the east coast of Northern Ireland. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Funding to be used for appraisal well in Northern Ireland compressed-air project

Verizon will pay $60 per Fleetmatics share, a premium of about 40 per cent to Friday’s close, valuing the deal at $2.4 billion. Photograph: Mike Blake/Reuters

Communications giant acquires Irish GPS vehicle tracking company founded in 2004

Italy’s Monte dei Paschi was the biggest loser in Friday’s stress tests, but it bounced as much as 10 per cent Monday morning after it was the subject to a last-minute rescue deal that means it will avoid a part-nationalisation. (Photograph: MATTIA SEDDA/EPA)

BOI and AIB drop, European banks gain, as investors respond to Friday’s stress tests

After a poor outturn in Friday’s European stress tests AIB stressed on Monday morning that the EBA figures are based on a “ 2015 static balance sheet and does not reflect current or future improved financial performance”. (Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times)

AIB and Bank of Ireland move to allay investor fears after critical report

In 2014, then minister for health James Reilly introduced a measure aimed at getting insurers to cover the full costs of their patients in public hospitals

Hospitals charging patients the cost of a private bed when they are in a public ward is starting to affect health insurance premiu(...)

If there are significant others and/or dependents in your life, it’s worth taking the time to consider how they will be protected financially if you die

Start by figuring out what you can afford and how long you will need it for, and then work out the sums

Increasing numbers of Irish people in the autumn of their lives are choosing to officially divorce or, at least, file for judicial separations. Photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Ireland has one of lowest divorce rates but the number of ‘silver splitters’ is going up

Grand Canal Dock: Dublin is now the 47th most expensive city in the world for expats to live and work in – behind London, San Francisco, and Paris – but ahead of other start-up hubs like Berlin (100), Barcelona (110) and Lisbon (134).  Photograph: Eric Luke / THE IRISH TIMES

Dublin has issues with the shortage of suitable office space – and the inflexibility of letting contracts

Given the low return environment we are in, charges imposed on approved retirement funds may be negating any return the fund offers

Pensions Council report warns charges are wiping out the value of retirement funds

Despite a volatile external environment, US companies are still looking to Ireland

Despite uncertainty on several fronts, US firms continue to invest here

 Assets plummeted at Dublin’s Bank of America Merrill Lynch from €361 billion in 2010 to just € 5 billion as of the end of 2015, as the bank continued to retrench its Irish operations.Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Dublin-based bank reported €22 million loss in 2015, down from €14 million profit in 2014

AIB subsidiary Haven said on Wednesday that it will cut its standard variable rate by 0.32 percentage points to 3.4 per cent. The reduction will apply to both new and existing customers, and coincides with a 0.25 percentage point cut in the lender’s loan-to-value rates, meaning the lowest rate now on offer is 3.1 per cent.

Cut to 3.4% means homeowner with €200k mortgage will save €410 a year

Frankfurt already has the European Central Bank (pictured) so why not the European Banking Authority for Dublin? (Photograph:  DANIEL ROLAND/AFP/Getty Images)

MEP Brian Hayes says Dublin would be ‘ideal’ location for banking watchdog is offering Irish savers more options - but consumers should consider the strength of any financial institution before placing money with it.

Savers could double their return by placing a deposit via

The UK vote to leave the European Union is negative for Ireland, raising risks to growth and creating uncertainty around future relations with Northern Ireland, Fitch Ratings said on Tuesday. (Photograph: Jason Alden/Bloomberg)

Ratings agency says reduced domestic confidence could be an issue

Strong growth in sales of books and newspapers, clothes, and hardware and paint, saw retail figures climb by 0.7 per cent in the month of May.

Increase driven by strong increases in sales of hardware, books and clothes; retail sales now just 3.3% off the peak of January 20(...)

Irish retail savers are feeling the pinch with negligible returns on offer across the board

Low or even zero interest rates look here to stay but as recent market turmoil has so clearly shown, moving out of deposits is a r(...)

Global financial institutions of the likes of Morgan Stanley and Legg Mason have been touted as potential candidates to shift some of their business to Dublin, creating thousands of financial services jobs in the process. But is this likely?

Some suggest city could capture 300,000 jobs over time as Central Bank readies resources for flood of potential authorisations - (...)

Announcing the change Minister for Finance Michael Noonan said the change will be “of particular benefit to those individuals with buy-out bonds whose defined benefit scheme may have been wound up and who had no choice but to accept a transfer to a bond”.

DB members will be to able to invest pension funds in approved retirement funds (ARFs) for the first time

In the Republic the value at UK retailers could see more negative effects. Dermott Jewell of the Consumers’ Association of Ireland (CAI) said familiar high-street names will feel the pinch of leaving the single market.

Prices of UK retail products may become cheaper

From powerful vacuum cleaners to online shopping, life may change now

Dutch airline KLM said on Tuesday that it will launch a new, twice-daily flight between Amsterdam and Dublin.

New Dublin-Amsterdam route will help boost tourism from the Benelux region

According to new figures from the Central Bank for the first three months of the year, gross new lending to SMEs was € 200 million higher than in the same period in 2015, rising to €  657 million, as draw-downs, particularly for property investment and development, continued to increase.

Property investment and development drive demand for funds but total lending falls by 10% on an annual basis

Pádraig Harrington, making his way onto the 18th green during the Seve Trophy, Pro-Am in Druids Glen, Co Wicklow in 2002. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Parties involved in Wicklow golf course reach agreement on debts

HSBC has broken mortgage records by offering UK customers a two-year fixed rate home loan at an interest rate of 0.99 per cent, underlining the difference between the rates Irish homeowners are paying on their mortgages versus their European peers. (Photograph: Joe Giddens/PA Wire)

Move highlights differential in mortgage rates between Ireland and rest of Europe

Property investment company Hibernia said on Tuesday that it has received full planning permission for Phase 2 of the redevelopment of the Garda control centre at Harcourt Square in Dublin, paving the way for a “landmark development” on the site.

Site is subject of a legal dispute with the Office of Public Works (OPW)

Working out the most cost-effective way to amass summer holiday money can be tricky

From contactless payments, to credit cards and foreign exchange, here are some tips that will help you cut bank fees and spend mor(...)

Nick Ashmore, chief executive, Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) said the figures show “that the more choice and competition generated in the SME lending sector, the more we can help our indigenous businesses grow and support jobs and so we hope to build on this initial impact and further support Irish economic activity with an active pipeline of new lenders and funders in 2016.” (Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times)

State-backed agency hopes to further support Irish businesses in 2016 with an active pipeline of new lenders and funders

While life outside of the EU may see some changes which verge on the absurd - “powerful” vaccum cleaners may return to the shops in Northern Ireland for example - others will have a far greater impact and could impinge on our rights to work and travel in the UK. (Photograph: HAYOUNG JEON/EPA)

It’s still too close to call it, but if the UK votes to Leave this week it won’t just be the Irish economy that will be hit - it w(...)

Lenders to Irish mining group Kenmare Resources have approved the company’s restructuring plan, which will see the group cut its debt by $269 million (€238m) through a share sale. (Photograph: ARIEL MARINKOVIC/AFP/Getty Images)

Deal will see mining group cut its debt by $269 million through a share sale

Keeping abreast of the changing technological environment in financial services is “quite challenging”, Central Bank Governor Philip Lane said on Thursday. Photo: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Governor addresses financial services industry on challenge of new technologies

The National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) sold €500 million in six-month treasury bills on Thursday morning, at an average yield, or interest rate, of -0.22 per cent. (Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times)

Yield on treasury bills still negative amid tremors in the bond market

Dealz operated some 53 stores - eight of which are in retail parks - in Ireland as of March 2016, up from 41 in the prior year. The chain has some 300,000 weekly customers in Ireland it said. (Photograph: Eric Luke / THE IRISH TIMES)

Discount retailer says 300,000 customers visit its 53 Irish stores each week

A price increase of 7.74 per cent in the year to March 2016 saw Ireland take its place as the sixth fastest growing market in the world behind Turkey (Istanbul 19.05%); China (Shanghai 16.64%); Sweden (12.1%); Romania (11.55%) and Qatar (9.27%).

Annual growth of 7.7% in year to March 2016 sees Ireland outpace growth in Germany, Netherlands and Canada

The Central Bank said on Tuesday that the introduction of new mortgage rules has led to a “marked slowing in house price inflation”.

Regulator to start consultation on Wednesday; submissions will inform its annual review to be published in November

In simple terms, a universal basic income (UBI) is an income which is provided without conditions to every adult and child

Arguments are growing for basic income payments

Surmodics, which operates in medical devices and in vitro diagnostics, plans to develop the Ballinasloe operations by investing more than €  7 million in facility development, including the recently acquired building, and creating 100 new jobs above the current base of 32 over the next five years.

Surmodics to invest in R&D at new Galway facility bringing headcount to 132

Back in 2013, just 2 per cent of the total stock of residential mortgages outstanding were owned by  so-called ‘non-bank entities’. Fast forward to March 2016, and they now account for 5 per cent (47,409) of the total stock, and as much as 7 per cent of buy-to-let (BTL) mortgages.

New mortgage arrears figures show so-called ‘vulture funds’ account for about 5% of repossessions

Saving for a rainy day has gotten harder for Irish savers as Central Bank figures show that deposit rates continue to plummet.

Irish property buyers are still paying considerably more on their mortgage than Euro area borrowers

Figures frome the Central Bank published Wednesday show that as of end-March 2016, some 85,989 mortgages on primary residences were in arrears, a reduction of 2.6 per cent on the fourth quarter of 2015.

Accounts in arrears now represent 11% of total mortgages and 17% of buy-to-let borrowings

Following GIC’s acquisition of a stake in Eir, Anchorage Capital Group will remain as the group’s largest shareholder, holding in excess of 35 per cent of the group’s shares.

€ 232m investment is expected to value telecommunications company at up to €3.5bn

The EU Commission’s probe into Apple’s tax affairs in Ireland is one of the Department of Finance’s policy priorities for 2016. (Photograph: Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images)

Details on Apple’s tax affairs, Irish Water and the sale of the State’s stakes in AIB/BOI are removed from briefing notes

Irish banks including AIB are selling down their Irish government debt holdings ahead of potential EU regulations. (Photograph: Paul McErlane/Reuters)

Divestment could put pressure on Irish sovereign debt spreads Fitch says

Got a spare bike: rent it out on a website like Spinlister. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Assets which people may not even realise they have can be put to use to increase income

Figures from the Central Bank show that household lending slumped by 3.5 per cent in April, compared with the same period in 2015, as mortgage loans fell by € 176 million during the month, or by 2.3 per cent in the year. Households repaid € 1.8 billion more than was advanced in new loans.

Subdued lending environment ‘cause for concern’ economist says

Fintan Ryan, chairperson of DCG Card Services and chief executive of Tralee Credit Union,  with the proposed Mastercard debit card. “We’re not for profit and we’re not looking to make anything out of the card. That’s the advantage of it,” he said.

Plans for Mastercard account announced on Tuesday were not approved by regulator

Job market concerns, fuelled by job losses in companies like Intel, may be behind a softening of consumer confidence in May. (Photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times)

High profile job losses at Intel and spectre of Brexit sees consumer confidence decline

One section of the market that is still declining however is those looking to trade-up.Restricted perhaps by negative equity or the difficulty in saving a 20 per cent deposit in the capital, approvals in this category slumped by 13.8 per cent in the year to April 2016, with just 623 approvals in the three month period.

Traditional spring selling season is bringing out the first-time buyers but approvals are still down on an annual basis

If Irish banks are charging over the odds on mortgages, then it stands to reason that they’re earning considerably higher margins. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Irish banks earn second highest margins on new mortgage lending in euro zone, ECB figures show

Aryzta chief executive Owen Killian said Q3 revenues “confirm an improving trend in all regions”. (Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times)

Food group struggles to halt slide in investor confidence linked to concern over US arm

AIB customers can avoid bank charges of €4.50 a quarter by keeping a balance of €2,500.  (Photograph: Crispin Rodwell/Bloomberg)

PTSB is hoping to shake up the market with its new cashback current account - the only one available on the Irish market. But is i(...)

The figures show a significant increase in the number of workers who will depend on the state pension for an income in retirement. Back in 2009, a little over a quarter (26%) of workers said the pension would be their main source of income - but this jumped to 36 per cent in 2015.

CSO figures show 36% of workers to rely on state pension as only form of income in retirement as private pension cover declines (...)

Padraic Rhatigan: “I would see us attaining about 20 per cent growth.”

Small Business Future proof Padraic Rhatigan, JJ Rhatigan

Putative tenants should expect rents upwards of €1,400 a month for the planned development in the Beacon South Quarter, Sandyford, Dublin. Photograph : Matt Kavanagh / The  Irish Times

Development consists of four one-bed, 55 two-bed and nine three-bed apartments

PIBA, the country’s largest group of financial brokers, has reiterated its call for the Central Bank to soften its mortgage lending rules, introduced in 2015. Brokers want the regulator to reduce the 20 per cent deposit requirement to 10 per cent, with the maximum loan amount being increased from 3.5 to 4.5 times income.

Strict lending criteria, not rules around exemptions, are hindering mortgage volumes brokers say

In line with European interest rate movements, deposit rates in Ireland are trending downwards, but figures from the European Central Bank earlier this month showed that Irish savers are earning the lowest return on their deposits across 18 European countries.

Savers could lose €300 a year as KBC slashes top rate to 0.7% and Rabodirect to 0.6%

AIB chairman Richard Pym has held the position of chairman of UK Asset Resolution Limited since 2010. (Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times)

Richard Pym to step down from UK Asset Resolution Limited in June 2016

Twitter is to increase the amount of space it takes at Hibernia Reit’s Cumberland House, up by 16.5k sq ft to 101.5k sq ft for for € 0.7 million extra rent. (Photograph: Twitter/PA Wire)

Property investor reports 17% increase in NAV; Twitter increases space it will take at Cumberland House

It seems that loyalty cards are everywhere these days, with most of the larger chains and department stores – and many of the smaller ones – now offering loyalty schemes

Fiona Reddan asks if loyalty cards are worth the effort?

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Simon Coveney has a remit to sovle the housing crisis. But the Construction Industry Federation (CIF) warns that without “a concomitant increase in capital investment in infrastructure” the government’s plan to increase housing supply up to 25,000 houses each year by 2020 risks creating “unsustainable ghost communities in the regions”. (Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons / THE IRISH TIMES)

Without investment in infrastructure Government’s housing strategy could create ‘ghost communities’ in the regions

 KBI chief executive officer Sean Hawkshaw: “We have developed a truly international business over the last five years, with clients from Sydney to San Fransisco, and from the Shetland Islands to Seoul,”Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Management’s 12.5% stake understood to be valued at about €16-€19 million

Ronan Harris is Google’s CEO in Ireland, overseeing a workforce of 5,000. The electrical engineer took up the role in May 2015 and is now charged with running the Irish business, a “growth engine” for businesses across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.   (Photograph: Shane O’Neill /Fennell Photography)

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