property price
Property price growth remains strong
While property price growth is still strong, this could slow as the year progresses, according to Trevor Grant, chairman of the Association of Irish Mortgage Advisers. Influencing factors include “anticipated increased supply coming on stream and mortgage exceptions becoming harder to obtain, which reduces borrowing power accordingly”. The current housing shortage coupled with strong mortgage approval figures makes it difficult to forecast how the upcoming ECB rate increases will affect…
Biodiversity Week
Final days of National Biodiversity Week 2022
The Irish Environmental Network (IEN) wraps up National Biodiversity Week 2022 on Sunday, following the hosting of more than 130 events nationwide. Tomorrow, at 2pm, enthusiasts can join a free sustainable forestry walk at The Organic Centre. Tree surgeon Thomas Maguire will explore sustainable woodland management as he guides visitors on a walk on the woodland of the Centre. The full programme, available on, is funded by the National Parks &…
beef update
Farmers should sell beef hard in current rising market, says IFA
Demand for beef in Ireland’s key export markets continues to drive the trade, according to IFA Livestock Committee chairman Brendan Golden. In a recent beef update on 13 May, 2022, he said supplies are not meeting demand and factories want cattle for immediate slaughter. Golden said UK prices rose again this week and, combined with the EU price, are resting 16c/kg above our price in the Prime Export Benchmark measure…
fertiliser prices
Fertiliser prices have increased by 149%
Fertiliser prices were up by 149% year on year to March 2022, according to the Central Statistics Office (CSO). Energy and feed prices increased by 54.9% and 22.6% respectively. Milk prices are up by more than 32%, while cattle prices are more than 22% higher on an annual basis. Food price inflation is likely to get worse as higher energy costs continue to impact the economy. An average food basket…
interest rate hike
July interest rate hike on the cards
As the anticipated July interest rate hike looms, Central Bank of Ireland governor Gabriel Makhlouf said at a recent Ibec national council meeting that the current deposit rate of minus 0.5% should be “in positive territory by early next year”. He added that “the first move in the European Central Bank’s interest rates will happen soon after net asset purchases end”. Bond-buying under the ECB’s asset purchase programme was introduced in late 2014.…
mortgage rates
Mortgage rates rise ahead of pending ECB increases
Central Bank of Ireland figures from March 2022 show that mortgage rates in Ireland are among the most expensive in the Eurozone. That’s second only to Greece. Yet rates are starting to increase, ahead of a possible rise in European mortgage rates as early as July. A first-time buyer in Ireland will take out a mortgage of about EUR 270,000, paying EUR 176 extra per month or EUR 2,100 per…
fuel prices
Rural residents and those with children bearing the brunt of high fuel prices
AA Ireland says fuel prices are rising again with diesel now close to EUR 2 per litre. Motorists are spending EUR 2,000 per year to keep their cars going. And the cost of running the average car is up by EUR 700 per year since 2020. However, the Government excise duty cut of 20c per litre on petrol and 15c on diesel will endure until August. An iReach survey conducted…
open-ended scheme
Open-ended scheme approved for construction sector
The Irish cabinet has approved plans for an open-ended scheme that will pay up to 70% of builders’ construction costs. These must be related to inflation and made in line with Central Statistics Office figures. However, builders can backdate qualifying claims to 1 January, 2022. The scheme is likely to cost millions of euros each month. Furthermore, the estimated bill for the first trimester could total EUR 30-40 m. Minister…
farmer health
Seminar to address farmer wellbeing
A Teagasc seminar on farmer wellbeing and mental health will be held on 16 May, 2022. The main speaker is Dr David Christian Rose, Reading University, a leading UK expert on the subject. In addition, Dr David Meredith, Teagasc Rural Economy Development Programme, will chair an open discussion to look at ways to improve the sustainability of farmers.   “Farmers face a unique set of acute and chronic stressors including…
women working on farms
Possible benefits for women working on farms
Tánaiste party leader Leo Varadkar is willing to examine the possibility of paid maternity and pension benefits for women working on farms. However, speaking at a Fine Gael conference on Agriculture and Rural Development in Tullamore, Co Offaly, he said it might be tricky due to issues around Pay Related Social Insurance (PRSI). Responding to a question on the matter from MEP Maria Walsh and the Women in Agriculture Stakeholder…
organic farming
Learn more about organic farming on hosted walks
Organic farm walks organised by Teagasc and funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine are gaining traction among those interested in converting to organic farming. Attendees can also learn about direct sales opportunities. The walks form part of an ongoing series that promotes successful organic operators across a variety of enterprises. These include beef, cereal, horticulture, sheep, and poultry sectors. Attendance at all three of the 12…
cost of living
Sharp cost of living changes could be imminent
The cost of living in Ireland could increase if the European Central Bank (ECB) takes steps to eliminate high inflation. In that instance, headline EU interest rates could rise to 6% and Irish mortgage rates to 8% minimum. Headline inflation encompasses food and energy. That’s if the bank applies the same approach as the former US Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volker did in the late 70s. His decision to wreck…
Wool prices Ireland
Wool prices not yet set for new season quality product
Wool prices this year are likely to be no different from the last two years. This does not bode well for farmers who have had to accept 5c/kg to 20c/kg for their wool clip since 2020. What’s more, shearing costs could rise. Is there light at the end of the tunnel? Not really. There is a lot of wool available, despite the trade picking up before Christmas 2021. Elsewhere, sales…
spring lambs
Spring lambs gain favour as hogget numbers decline
Prices are improving as demand increases for spring lambs. This is influenced by fewer hoggets available now, and grass growth kicking on. Demand for the lambs has been slow since March, but this could soon change under the current circumstances. Until now, factory agents have been focused on hoggets but demand for them over Easter and Ramadan has diminished supply. To date, fewer lambs have appeared at marts, and prices…
food security
More diverse and resilient food systems will safeguard food security
The global food price crisis continues to threaten food security. The FAO Food Price Index is expected to highlight this as food prices reached record highs for April 2022.   The recently released IPES-Food report highlights the growing food security crisis. Weighty reliance on food imports and extreme commodity speculation are among the drivers of the crisis. These have gone unresolved since 2007 – 2008. Main drivers: Dietary diversity has been…
rising inflation
Rising inflation impacts construction projects
Linesight, the Dublin-based construction consultancy firm, says rising inflation will affect multinational employers’ efforts to build or expand facilities in Ireland in 2022. In its new Construction Insights and Commodity Report, the global surveyors’ firm highlights that rising energy costs, as well as the war in Ukraine, will affect prices for building materials such as timber, steel, and copper. Linesight manages construction projects for industries in 24 countries. Clients include pharmaceutical…
Agricultural land
Price of agricultural land set to increase
Agricultural land prices should increase by 6% this year, compared to 4% in 2021. Restrictions caused by the pandemic have created supply pressures and increased demand, which has had a knock-on effect on pricing. However, Teagasc and the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland released a report highlighting associated inflationary pressures, accelerated by the war in Ukraine, which are also impacting farm input prices and therefore affecting incomes. The rising cost…
prescribed burning
Prescribed burning: when to do it
Teagasc promotes prescribed burning in Ireland. However, the rules of best practice in habitat management apply. There must be no alternatives to rejuvenating the area for sustainable grazing. Best practice Prescribed burning revitalises abandoned or undergrazed dry heaths. It is best planned outside the bird-nesting season, which is from 1 September until the end of February. Farmers must get all essential permissions and notify affected parties. These include Actions Requiring…
House prices in Ireland
House prices on the rise in Ireland
House prices in Ireland more than doubled in 2021, rising 8.44% compared to a 3.24% increase in house prices the previous year. In terms of sales, the number of homes sold rose by 16.7% to 44,221 units whereas in 2020 house sales fell 16.3%, according to Ireland’s Central Statistics Office (CSO). Last year saw sales value improve by approximately 27.9% y-o-y to EUR 14.5 billion in 2021.  Despite strong demand, the…
pesticide sales
Pesticide sales down by 21% since 2011
New Eurostat data confirms that pesticide sales in Ireland have dropped by almost a quarter overall from 2011 to 2020. Specifically, herbicide, fungicide, and insecticide producers are selling less. Slug pellets are the only category doing well. Insecticide sales have dropped the most – by almost 80%. Herbicide and fungicide producers saw turnover fall by 20% and 29% respectively. The decade saw an overall sales volume decrease in the pesticide…
Ireland ranks fourth in land price, data reveals 
Data released by the European Commission has revealed that Ireland has the fourth highest land price in the EU. The data additionally reveals that the country has the fifth highest land rental price. The average price of purchasing one hectare of arable land was most expensive in the Netherlands. At €322/ha in 2020, Irish grassland rental prices have increased by almost 25% in the last four years and are now…
Youngsters more likely to be organic farm managers
There’s been a slump in organic farming in Ireland according to the latest statistics released by the European Union. This, despite an increase in organic farming across the EU recorded for 2020, with a total of production covered set to be at 14.7 million hectares. According to the figures, the highest shares of organic farm areas recorded for 2020 were in Austria (25%); Estonia (22%); and Sweden (20%), while shares…