Fall in mortgage drawdowns, Brexit threat to services, and advice on your pension

Business Today: the best news, analysis and comment from The Irish Times business desk

New figures showing a 30.3 per cent drop in the number of home loans drawn down.

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the housing market, with new figures showing a 30.3 per cent drop in the number of home loans drawn down during the three months to the end of September, compared to the same period last year. Barry O'Halloran reports on the Banking and Payments Federation of Ireland statistics published this morning.

The twin threats of Brexit and Covid-19 drove a measure of the State's economic wellbeing down by more than a quarter this month compared to the same time last year, while consumer sentiment fell to an all-time low. That's according to Bank of Ireland's Economic Pulse index, writes Colin Gleeson.

Meanwhile, Chartered Accountants Ireland is warning that Brexit will hit services between the Republic and the UK irrespective of the outcome of current talks, which they say are focusing on trade in goods rather than services.

Venture capital activity in the Republic has also been hard hit by the pandemic, with the value of investments down by more than half in the third quarter according to KPMG's Venture Pulse report. Colin Gleeson reports.


In more positive news today, State electricity company ESB is offering €75 million to help businesses purchase equipment to cut their greenhouse gas emissions; Barry O'Halloran has the details.

Galway-headquartered medtech company Aerogen, which is developing a number of potential Covid-19 therapies, expects to surpass ¤100 million in revenues this year after announcing record sales, reports Charlie Taylor.

Laura Slattery's Media & Marketing column takes a spooky seasonal twist today as she writes about "ghost newspapers, zombie media brands and other scary stories from the world of journalism".

In Personal Finance, Dominic Coyle answers queries from a reader who is due to retire next year at the age of 66 and is wondering what State pension he will be entitled to, and from a man who asks if he is mad to consider switching his mortgage provider to Ulster Bank, given the current uncertainty surrounding the lender's future in Ireland.

And Fiona Reddan has everything you need to know about your property tax, and whether it could go up or down next year.

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Ciara Kenny

Ciara Kenny

Ciara Kenny, founding editor of Irish Times Abroad, a section for Irish-connected people around the world, is Editor of the Irish Times Magazine