Tag Archives: Ireland

A rise in mortgage interest rates could affect thousands

As if things weren’t bad enough homeowners are now facing even more pain as interest rates are increasing even more. AIB’s chief executive warns of the future plans to increase variable rates. This move from AIB is set to spark a rise in the variable rates from other lenders also. Therefore around 300,000 people with variable home loans will be affected. AIB alone have around 70,000 customers who have variable rates.

Breaking this charge down basically means that every 0.25pc rise in rates adds €30 a month to the cost of repayments on every €200,000 borrowed. The new rise in rates will send the number of residential customers in arrears soaring. 

According to Broker Michael Dowling of Abacus Finance in Dublin all the lenders are all set to raise their rates but they just don’t want to be the first one to make the move. But sure enough once one goes ahead, they will all follow.

The banks want to see the average variable rate rise from 4.3pc to 5pc which would add around €1,000 a year to the annual repayments on a €200,000 mortgage.

The Government have now wiped their hands clean  of the mortgage rates even though in the past they put pressure on lenders to reduce these variable rates. In 2012 AIB brought in two rises of 0.5pc each.

David Duffy, AIB’s boss said that the bank would contact all those in arrears and offer them a deal to reconstruct their mortgage payments by the summer.

AIB Boss David Duffy

David Hall, of the Irish Mortgage Holders Association claims that Mr. Duffy had offered very few, if any distressed borrower’s long-term restructuring and when they were asked how many mortgage holders had been offered deals the AIB spokeswoman said she had no figures at the moment.

So the bank that the state has given €21.5bn to claims that its variable rate is one of the lowest on the market.

On the contrary there was a large increase in the number of mortgages that were issued in the last three months of last year. This was mainly due to buyers who were struggling to avail of mortgage tax relief. This has since been removed.

In 2012 nearly 16,000 mortgages were drawn down which totalled €2.6bn. This is the first annual increase we have seen since 2006.

Experts in the area have made their predictions that around €4bn worth of new mortgages will be issued this year.

Bank of Ireland, AIB and Permanent TSB have stated that they will increase their home-loan lending. Dermot O’Leary of Goodbody Stockbrokers said AIB and Bank of Ireland alone are committed to issuing €2bn each in mortgages this year.

We would love to hear your thoughts on the issues raised in this blog, feel free to leave comments! Thanks again for reading and don’t forget to follow us on twitter for daily blogs!.

Irish To Spend 300m Online This Christmas

Irish To Spend 300m This Christmas

The Irish Independent estimates that Irish consumers will spend almost 300 million online this Christmas. Sales are expected to rise in the next two weeks as consumers try to ensure purchases are delivered on time. The Irish consumers spent 257 million last year and it is expected to rise.

Consumers spend time browsing during work hours and tend to make their purchases after 7pm. Irish retailers top the charts for alcohol, flowers and furniture and the website of choice tends to be from outside the island when it comes to electrical goods, DVD and books.

November 26th and December the 3rd being called mega Monday are set to see the busiest online periods as consumers spend their November pay packets. Companies without an eCommerce website look set to miss out on the action for another year and will have to rely on bricks and mortar. A combination of online and offline will position your company to maximise revenue.

For more information on eCommerce websites click here or call 01 4978671

Email: charlotte@4pm.ie


Will House Swapping Take Off?


Could house swapping be the answer for people to find a new home in the recession? At the moment it seems more expensive to rent and with banks in no rush to give out second mortgages it looks like a good alternative. In the last budget stamp duties were reduced which would make the idea easier. Stamp duty is at 1% per person swapping. The swap could mean there is no renting property while you are waiting to buy another house.

House SwappingHowever getting true evaluations before the swap may come as a problem, the property register does not give exact details of the sizes and nature of deals. The register may show different valuations of houses that have been purchased by parents or come with land as part of them.

One person who is actively looking to swap is Ian Hickey with his property in Bray. Ian is looking to move to a larger house and is willing to put €80,000 plus his house in order to find his dream home for him and his family. Ian has start marketing the house himself building a brochure of the property and giving it to possible houses that he and his family may like to swap with. Ian bought the house in 1999 and has made plenty of improvements. Ian said “It was a labour of love and I am willing to do the same with a larger house.” Now Ian is married with a child he is looking for somewhere bigger. Ian estimates the house is worth around €280,000 and would be looking to add his €80,000 to that.

At 4pm we think it is a great idea with the price of rent and the bank being tight with mortgages. A house swap may be the perfect solution for a couple with the kids who have moved out, it would give them the opportunity to move to a smaller more manageable house and give them a lump sum to live a few fantasies they may have dreamed while the kids were younger!

What do we think of the idea of swapping houses? 4pm think it is a great idea but is there a hub to facilitate people coming together with the same idea. A house swapping website could really help this idea take off. A website where people could meet online, view properties, match properties to requirements and arrange viewings. The website would facilitate a niche market and really help the idea take off. Why not call one of the 4pm team for more details on the idea!


Follow 4pm on Twitter & Facebook for more industry news!

Email: charlotte@4pm.ie

Phone: 01 5252177

Ian Hickey 086 3956429



Irelands Internet


Since the first commercial desktop in 1965 the world, including Ireland has come a long way. For entertainment, work, shopping and browsing for products you may buy, the internet is many peoples first stop. ITU says that in 2000 Ireland’s internet population was 20.9%. ITU’s report for 2010 paints a different picture, a whopping 65.8% of Ireland are on the internet.


If so many people choose to use the internet  some companies have been able to flourish and change their business models due to the use of e-commerce website. A great example is the way Ryanair have automated their whole booking process. Having said that some businesses have also held back from moving part of their business online, and you would have to wonder why when there is such an opportunity. Here are some companies who have used the internet to their advantage.

Top 25 Irish e-commerce websites

( alexa.com sep 2010)

1. Ryanair.com
2. Aer Lingus.com
3. Ebay.ie
4. Partypoker
5. o2 online
6.  Vodafone
7. Ebay.co.uk
8. Apple.com
9. Booking.com
10. Amazon.com
11. Ebay.com
12. Ticketmaster.ie
13. Meteor.ie
14. irishrail.ie
15. Three.ie
16. Littlewoodsireland.ie
17. Hotels.com
18. Lotto.ie
19. Paddypower.com
20. Zynga.com
21. Wptpoker.com
22. Goireland.com
23. Asos.com
24. Buy4now.ie
25. Ebookers.ie

Top 25 Visited sites in Ireland

(Alexa.com oct 2012)

  1. Google.ie
  2. Google.com
  3. Facebook.com
  4. Youtube.com
  5. Yahoo.com
  6. Wikipedia.org
  7. Linkedin.com
  8. Live.com
  9. Twitter.com
  10. BBC.co.uk
  11. Rte.ie
  12. Blogspot.ie
  13. Amazon.co.uk
  14. Ebay.ie
  15. Aib.ie
  16. Donedeal.ie
  17. Amazon.com
  18. Independent.ie
  19. Irishtimes.com
  20. Boards.ie
  21. dailymail.co.uk
  22. paypal.com
  23. daft.ie
  24. wordpress.com
  25. 365online.com


If opening up your business to new opportunities and creating new avenues for revenue,  take advantage of the large online population in Ireland and call 4pm for a free consultation.01 4978671


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Arthur Guinness Day ‘Paint The Town Black’

Arthur Guinness Day is it money well spent? The debate on Arthur Guinness Day still remains. Initially it was perceived as being a great marketing ploy by Guinness but as it moves into its third year questions are being asked about its longevity. For a small country like Ireland having a national treasure that is recognized all over the world is great, and connecting people from all around the globe is a positive but do we need to to raise a glass to Arthur every year.



It appears that it is only the large cities in Ireland and around the world that are benefiting from this event, while the smaller more rural towns and villages around Ireland suffer. For a large company like Guinness that have a large marketing budget one could ask the question should they be spending their money on other areas and avenues? Is this an attempt by Guinness to try and create a st Patricks day type event year on year. What are your thoughts on the whole Arthur Guinness Day? Good, bad or indifferent.



Here at 4pm we are still undecided about celebrating Arthur Guinness Day each year. If you’re starting up a new business and are interested in web design, online marketing, SEO (search engine optimization) or content management systems give us a call on 014978671 or check us out on www.4pm.ie.