Are rising house prices affecting Ireland’s competitiveness?

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The findings of the National Competitive Council’s study on the affordability of Irish housing, released today, shows the need for Ireland to get building once more.

The report revealed that high rents and house prices were impacting Ireland’s economic competitiveness.

For many years now supply has been an issue, particularly in the key cities and urban areas. However, very little has been done about it by a Government that has too often been distracted by what are deemed more pressing matters.

However, in the wake of the recent Brexit result in the UK, the need for more accommodation is more vital than ever if the IDA are to attract more Foreign Direct Investment here from companies wishing to have a European base in an English speaking country.

In recent years companies such as PayPal have bemoaned the lack of accommodation available for their staff and if workers can neither find nor afford it then companies will look at options other than Ireland.

The study by the National Competitiveness Council noted that a well-functioning market was “crucial” to the economy here. However, of the 12 cities studied only Amsterdam and London had higher mortgage affordability scores than Dublin. The higher the score, the less affordable property is to buy.

The issue isn’t much better with regard to renting, with only three of the 12 cities dearer to rent in than Dublin.

Both house prices and rental costs are continuing to grow due to demand but the supply is not there and this means this is a problem that will only worsen unless action is taken.

NCC chairman Professor Peter Clinch said the main challenge at the moment was to deliver enough housing supply to meet demand at a price level that is affordable, accessible and sustainable. But he warned that, while there was an immediate pressure for intervention in the residential property market, there were no obvious quick fixes. “Therefore, it is essential a long-term, cross-government approach be taken to ensuring a sustainable housing market,” he said.

The report says that in order to encourage increased supply, prices need to exceed costs. But it says that, as a result of the Central Bank mortgage rules, prices are, in effect, capped relative to incomes. “Therefore, there is a need to address the other side of the equation and reduce development and construction costs relative to income and prices,” it says.

Chambers Ireland this morning described the report as “worrying” particularly given the post-Brexit opportunities the country would have.

He said: “There are new opportunities for Ireland to attract additional FDI given Britain’s decision to leave the EU, but insufficient accommodation options for employees and their families will make Ireland less attractive for investment. Ireland is most certainly open for business, but rapidly increasing the supply of housing of all types, social, private, and ‘build to rent’ accommodation, is now vital to help address housing affordability issues and to ensure that our cities can continue to attract and retain Foreign Direct Investment. We expect that the forthcoming Action Plan for Housing will provide a blueprint for the concerted action necessary to increase the supply of housing in our cities, but it will need swift implementation.”

Let us know your view on the subject.

  • Is the Government doing enough to encourage more building?
  • Would you blame a multinational for being put off coming here because of the housing situation?
  • What needs to be done to rectify the problem?

Have your say below…

The post Are rising house prices affecting Ireland’s competitiveness? appeared first on MyHome.ie Advice & Blog.

Evolution Of A Room, Girl’s Bedroom Edition

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Who’s ready for the coming of age tale of a girl room, just finding its own way in this big beautiful world? Growing, changing, and living life without regrets and a whole lot of heart (*cue the romantic comedy music*). I think Reese Witherspoon should play the room.

Some recent updates to our daughter’s room made us realize that this space has undergone quite the evolution since we moved in three years ago. And much like we took you through the evolution of our last house’s master bedroom, we thought it would be fun to do that in here. We’re big subscribers to the whole “if at first you don’t succeed, try try again… and again, and again” concept when it comes to cracking that how-do-we-want-this-room-to-look-and-function puzzle. And the added element of a space that’s evolving to fit the changing needs of a then 3-year-old to a now 6-year-old is pretty fun to look back on.

GirlsRoom-Blue-Rug-Pink-Closet-Door

So let’s go back in time for a bit, shall we? Here’s what the room looked like when we bought the house, complete with periwinkle blue trim and old wall to wall carpeting.

Before we moved in we ripped up the carpet

EvolutionGirlsRoom-Ripping-Up-Carpet

…. sprayed all the baseboards & doors white…

EvolutionGirlsRoom-PaintingTrim

…and installed hardwood floors.

EvolutionGirlsRoom-HardwoodFloors

On the day we moved in, we basically just dropped in all of our existing furniture and it stayed like this for a little while (check out that paint overspray from the doors on the walls).

EvolutionGirlsRoom-MovingDay

Eventually, we painted the room white with a soft pink ceiling and made a few other quick swaps (the afternoon sun was so bright in here it bounced off the rug and the whole room glowed hot pink, so we brought in a blue rug we had on hand instead). We also tried some other patterned curtains we already owned, just to give them a whirl in here.

EvolutionGirlsRoom-Painted

Next, we added a simple little fabric canopy over her daybed using store-bought brackets and fabric with blue pom-pom fringe sewn along one side (tutorial here).

EvolutionGirlsRoom-Canopy

Then came the crown molding that we installed (here’s how we made it extra beefy), along with a bold pink closet door and some colorful raindrops on the wall, just for fun (here’s the full rundown on how we did that with paint colors, steps, etc).

EvolutionGirlsRoom-Raindrops

Then came a third rug since the navy/teal one always felt a smidge too large. This new one – which we originally used in our living room – was a great replacement after we found a big turkish rug for down there. The lighter color on the floor inspired the breezier curtains that I dyed pink (more on that in a bit). So for the last 18 months or so it had looked like this (this photo was taken for our second book, Lovable Livable Home):

Now let’s turn our attention to the other side of the room. It initially looked like this, since she still slept in a crib for the first several months that we lived here. We expected her to make the transition to a bed long before our move (we had a daybed set up and waiting for her in our last house), but she surprised us all by happily sleeping in a crib until she was three and a half!

EvolutionGirlsRoom-CribHorizontal

Once the crib was no longer needed we moved her dresser over there, which was a piece of furniture that we refinished to act as a changing table for her original nursery in our first house. It has served her well for all 6 years of her life and transitioned pretty seamlessly. We hope it’s still going strong when she’s a teen (three cheers for old furniture that’s built to last).

EvolutionGirlsRoom-NoCribWall

It also probably bears mentioning that this wall served as a demonstration surface for a stenciling project that we detailed in our second book. We loved how it turned out, but it didn’t exactly go with the raindrops on the opposite wall, so we let Clara decide which wall she wanted to keep (she voted raindrops, so the stencils got painted over).

EvolutionGirlsRoom-StencilWall

These days it’s looking a bit more like this. The dresser’s still there, but with the new rug and a little lampshade update (I painted an old white one we had with a soft watercolor technique – just completely wetting the fabric with a paint brush first and lightly brushing some light blue fabric paint on it). We also added a fun pink mirror that Clara and I were both too enamored with to pass over.

GirlsRoom-Dresser-Pink-Mirror

And here’s a look at the evolution of this wall, as seen from the doorway. Starting with the crib…

EvolutionGirlsRoom-CribFromDoor

…to the dresser…

EvolutionGirlsRoom-DresserFromDoor

…and now, a couple of years later, with all of our tweakity-tweak-tweaks. (Sidenote: how cute is that doll bunk bed we made this past Christmas? It’s hilarious to see different things get tucked in each night, like trucks, drawings, and paper towel tubes with faces drawn on them.)

EvolutionGirlsRoom-FromDoorway

The other main wall is the one next to the door, which also underwent its own old gradual transformation. Once the dresser moved to the wall where the crib was, it became home to her play kitchen and fridge

EvolutionGirlsRoom-PlayWallKitchen

… which eventually got an upgrade with art, shelves, and a mirror.

EvolutionGirlsRoom-WallofFun

As her need for book/toy storage grew, we used a mudroom bench and constructed a grid of cubbies on top (another project featured in our second book). The drawers store dolls and doll clothes, the baskets are filled with Legos, and the open storage up top is for books and other random play things.

GirlsRoom-Bookcase-Art-Frames-Toy-Storage

And finally, the latest change has been the transition to a full sized bed, which was actually initiated by our girl herself. If we’re being honest, we were a little resistant to the whole bed swapping idea (funny how chronic room-tweakers like us can fear change sometimes). We dive deeper into the reasons we came around to it AND the design lesson it helped us learn in this week’s podcast episode (#5: The Rug Crime We Didn’t Realize We Were Committing), which you can listen to on iTunes, Google Play, or Stitcher. And if you need help getting started with podcasts (they’re easy and free!), this post will walk you through it.

GirlsRoom-Canopy-Raindrop-Wall-Colorful-Door

We also added some new side tables and pink touch lamps, both snagged on a 20 minute run through Target in hopes of surprising her with the new set-up before she returned home from school one day last month. She loves tapping them on every morning and off at bedtime with a flick of the wrist.

GirlsRoom-Pink-Touch-Lamp-Bedside

Oh and back to the curtains. They were just simple white Ikea curtains that I dyed a soft pink color by filling the tub with water and adding only half of the powder in one packet of Petal Pink RIT dye, and putting all four panels in there to soak for around 5 minutes. Just using half a packet along with so much water for all four panels made it a light whisper pink tone, which looks really nice with the pink ceiling and the white walls. Not too bold, but still cute and playful – especially with a little $6.99 strand of birds that we hung on one side. We also bought some chunky white wood curtain rods (from Home Depot or Lowe’s – can’t remember) because the dark bronze rods we had in there before were feeling heavy.

GirlsRoom-Pink-Curtains-Graphic-Rug-Play-Space

We put the white pouf and the blue pouf that seem to migrate around our house at the foot of the bed to help Teddy & Burger hop up for snuggle time (you can see them in the pic above). And for anyone looking for other items in the room, here’s the pink bunny print on the wall (seen above) and similar pillows, curtains, and bedding.

GirlsRoom-Canopy-Bed-Detail

That basket you see in the photo below (next to the bookcase) is the hamper, snagged from HomeGoods a while back.

GirlsRoom-Blue-Rug-Pink-Closet-Door

As for the art, we have loved filling that wall up with colorful prints and fun quotes. Here’s the You Are So Loved print by the amazing Katie Daisy. And here’s that awesome Dorothy print that we bought through Society6 (it was done by a friend of ours, who made it out of sequins!). There’s also a super cute print that’s just out of frame that says “Though She Be But Little She Is Fierce” that we bought on Etsy.

GirlsRoom-Bookcase-Art-Frames-Detail

Oh and see that sun thing plugged into the wall next to her hamper, above? That’s the most genius thing ever that glows blue (like a moon) when it’s time to sleep, but glows yellow (like a sun) at a pre-programmed time each morning, which we’ve taught her is the signal that it’s okay to get up and play in her room. We bought ours on Amazon a few years ago and can’t find it there anymore, but here’s something similar.

So that’s the coming of age tale of a little girl’s bedroom. Pretty sure it’ll keep on changing as she grows. I’d love to add a little vanity and a mirror to the back of her closet someday when she outgrows her dollhouse (*sob*).

And I’m already eying that big wall behind the bed and thinking that a headboard would be a nice little addition (bad photoshop below to demonstrate).

Evolution-GirlsRoom-HeadboardAdded

Psst- If you’re looking for paint color info or where we got something in our house, this page is full of all the details for you, including links to some of the exact items we’ve purchased. 

*This page contains affiliate links

The post Evolution Of A Room, Girl’s Bedroom Edition appeared first on Young House Love.

Big News!

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Drum roll, please….

I’m writing a cookbook! Well, an e-cookbook. But something, finally.

Wow, this is hard work. Between developing the recipes, actually measuring ingredients, and styling/shooting the food, it’s a huge project to tackle! But, I have come to realize that I love sharing the ease of cooking with others – yes, I said ease – and I think this book will be the best way to accomplish this task.

Rachael Evans Cookbook

Obviously this will take some time to complete, but I wanted to share now to 1) help explain my absence from DIY projects and 2) get some feedback on my vision!

One of the biggest complaints I hear about cooking and meal prep is that it takes a lot of time and becomes boring. And yeah, that can definitely be true. Even for someone like me who can enjoy the same thing a couple of days in a row, a whole week of the same meal is not appealing. Then, what happens? You throw things out and waste food, right?

My method involves is easily preparing several components of a meal, then combining them in different ways throughout the week to keep food interesting. I have some slow cooker recipes for those days when you really have ZERO time to spend time in the kitchen. Everything is designed to be simple to execute, but delicious and healthy! For the days when maybe you have some extra time or want to bring a dish to a potluck, there are some more “advanced” recipes, just involving a few more components and some extra steps.

The book will be organized by macronutrient: protein, carb, fat, (and veggie). Those of you who count macros will hopefully rejoice at this! I have found that there are very few cookbooks that cater to this way of eating. If you don’t care what a macro is, don’t worry – you can still use the book!

Plus, I’ve been working really hard to take mouthwatering photos (or trying to). Because you know what they say – you eat with your eyes first!

BBQ Pork Sliders_1

I’m looking forward to finishing this project and sharing it with you all!

Evolution Of A Room, Girl’s Bedoom Edition

Standard

Who’s ready for the coming of age tale of a girl room, just finding its own way in this big beautiful world? Growing, changing, and living life without regrets and a whole lot of heart (*cue the romantic comedy music*). I think Reese Witherspoon should play the room.

Some recent updates to our daughter’s room made us realize that this space has undergone quite the evolution since we moved in three years ago. And much like we took you through the evolution of our last house’s master bedroom, we thought it would be fun to do that in here. We’re big subscribers to the whole “if at first you don’t succeed, try try again… and again, and again” concept when it comes to cracking that how-do-we-want-this-room-to-look-and-function puzzle. And the added element of a space that’s evolving to fit the changing needs of a then 3-year-old to a now 6-year-old is pretty fun to look back on.

GirlsRoom-Blue-Rug-Pink-Closet-Door

So let’s go back in time for a bit, shall we? Here’s what the room looked like when we bought the house, complete with periwinkle blue trim and old wall to wall carpeting.

Before we moved in we ripped up the carpet

EvolutionGirlsRoom-Ripping-Up-Carpet

…. sprayed all the baseboards & doors white…

EvolutionGirlsRoom-PaintingTrim

…and installed hardwood floors.

EvolutionGirlsRoom-HardwoodFloors

On the day we moved in, we basically just dropped in all of our existing furniture and it stayed like this for a little while (check out that paint overspray from the doors on the walls).

EvolutionGirlsRoom-MovingDay

Eventually, we painted the room white with a soft pink ceiling and made a few other quick swaps (the afternoon sun was so bright in here it bounced off the rug and the whole room glowed hot pink, so we brought in a blue rug we had on hand instead). We also tried some other patterned curtains we already owned, just to give them a whirl in here.

EvolutionGirlsRoom-Painted

Next, we added a simple little fabric canopy over her daybed using store-bought brackets and fabric with blue pom-pom fringe sewn along one side (tutorial here).

EvolutionGirlsRoom-Canopy

Then came the crown molding that we installed (here’s how we made it extra beefy), along with a bold pink closet door and some colorful raindrops on the wall, just for fun (here’s the full rundown on how we did that with paint colors, steps, etc).

EvolutionGirlsRoom-Raindrops

Then came a third rug since the navy/teal one always felt a smidge too large. This new one – which we originally used in our living room – was a great replacement after we found a big turkish rug for down there. The lighter color on the floor inspired the breezier curtains that I dyed pink (more on that in a bit). So for the last 18 months or so it had looked like this (this photo was taken for our second book, Lovable Livable Home):

Now let’s turn our attention to the other side of the room. It initially looked like this, since she still slept in a crib for the first several months that we lived here. We expected her to make the transition to a bed long before our move (we had a daybed set up and waiting for her in our last house), but she surprised us all by happily sleeping in a crib until she was three and a half!

EvolutionGirlsRoom-CribHorizontal

Once the crib was no longer needed we moved her dresser over there, which was a piece of furniture that we refinished to act as a changing table for her original nursery in our first house. It has served her well for all 6 years of her life and transitioned pretty seamlessly. We hope it’s still going strong when she’s a teen (three cheers for old furniture that’s built to last).

EvolutionGirlsRoom-NoCribWall

It also probably bears mentioning that this wall served as a demonstration surface for a stenciling project that we detailed in our second book. We loved how it turned out, but it didn’t exactly go with the raindrops on the opposite wall, so we let Clara decide which wall she wanted to keep (she voted raindrops, so the stencils got painted over).

EvolutionGirlsRoom-StencilWall

These days it’s looking a bit more like this. The dresser’s still there, but with the new rug and a little lampshade update (I painted an old white one we had with a soft watercolor technique – just completely wetting the fabric with a paint brush first and lightly brushing some light blue fabric paint on it). We also added a fun pink mirror that Clara and I were both too enamored with to pass over.

GirlsRoom-Dresser-Pink-Mirror

And here’s a look at the evolution of this wall, as seen from the doorway. Starting with the crib…

EvolutionGirlsRoom-CribFromDoor

…to the dresser…

EvolutionGirlsRoom-DresserFromDoor

…and now, a couple of years later, with all of our tweakity-tweak-tweaks. (Sidenote: how cute is that doll bunk bed we made this past Christmas? It’s hilarious to see different things get tucked in each night, like trucks, drawings, and paper towel tubes with faces drawn on them.)

EvolutionGirlsRoom-FromDoorway

The other main wall is the one next to the door, which also underwent its own old gradual transformation. Once the dresser moved to the wall where the crib was, it became home to her play kitchen and fridge

EvolutionGirlsRoom-PlayWallKitchen

… which eventually got an upgrade with art, shelves, and a mirror.

EvolutionGirlsRoom-WallofFun

As her need for book/toy storage grew, we used a mudroom bench and constructed a grid of cubbies on top (another project featured in our second book). The drawers store dolls and doll clothes, the baskets are filled with Legos, and the open storage up top is for books and other random play things.

GirlsRoom-Bookcase-Art-Frames-Toy-Storage

And finally, the latest change has been the transition to a full sized bed, which was actually initiated by our girl herself. If we’re being honest, we were a little resistant to the whole bed swapping idea (funny how chronic room-tweakers like us can fear change sometimes). We dive deeper into the reasons we came around to it AND the design lesson it helped us learn in this week’s podcast episode (#5: The Rug Crime We Didn’t Realize We Were Committing), which you can listen to on iTunes, Google Play, or Stitcher. And if you need help getting started with podcasts (they’re easy and free!), this post will walk you through it.

GirlsRoom-Canopy-Raindrop-Wall-Colorful-Door

We also added some new side tables and pink touch lamps, both snagged on a 20 minute run through Target in hopes of surprising her with the new set-up before she returned home from school one day last month. She loves tapping them on every morning and off at bedtime with a flick of the wrist.

GirlsRoom-Pink-Touch-Lamp-Bedside

Oh and back to the curtains. They were just simple white Ikea curtains that I dyed a soft pink color by filling the tub with water and adding only half of the powder in one packet of Petal Pink RIT dye, and putting all four panels in there to soak for around 5 minutes. Just using half a packet along with so much water for all four panels made it a light whisper pink tone, which looks really nice with the pink ceiling and the white walls. Not too bold, but still cute and playful – especially with a little $6.99 strand of birds that we hung on one side. We also bought some chunky white wood curtain rods (from Home Depot or Lowe’s – can’t remember) because the dark bronze rods we had in there before were feeling heavy.

GirlsRoom-Pink-Curtains-Graphic-Rug-Play-Space

We put the white pouf and the blue pouf that seem to migrate around our house at the foot of the bed to help Teddy & Burger hop up for snuggle time (you can see them in the pic above). And for anyone looking for other items in the room, here’s the pink bunny print on the wall (seen above) and similar pillows, curtains, and bedding.

GirlsRoom-Canopy-Bed-Detail

That basket you see in the photo below (next to the bookcase) is the hamper, snagged from HomeGoods a while back.

GirlsRoom-Blue-Rug-Pink-Closet-Door

Oh and see that sun thing plugged into the wall next to her hamper below? That’s the most genius thing ever that glows blue (like a moon) when it’s time to sleep, but glows yellow (like a sun) at a pre-programmed time each morning, which we’ve taught her is the signal that it’s okay to get up and play in her room. We bought ours on Amazon a few years ago and can’t find it there anymore, but here’s something similar.

GirlsRoom-Bookcase-Art-Frames-Detail

So that’s the coming of age tale of a little girl’s bedroom. Pretty sure it’ll keep on changing as she grows. I’d love to add a little vanity and a mirror to the back of her closet someday when she outgrows her dollhouse (*sob*).

And I’m already eying that big wall behind the bed and thinking that a headboard would be a nice little addition (bad photoshop below to demonstrate).

Evolution-GirlsRoom-HeadboardAdded

Psst- If you’re looking for paint color info or where we got something in our house, this page is full of all the details for you, including links to some of the exact items we’ve purchased. 

*This page contains affiliate links

The post Evolution Of A Room, Girl’s Bedoom Edition appeared first on Young House Love.

What impact will Brexit have on the Irish property market?

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It has been a full week now since Britain’s decision to leave the European Union but seven days on no one really knows what the long term forecasts will be when the Brexit officially happens.

We might be in unchartered waters but that hasn’t prevented people from speculating as to what could occur.

The property market is one area that will be closely monitored and despite reports of a number of deals around the country falling by the wayside due to the fall in the value of sterling adding thousands of euro to deals, could Ireland’s property market be set to benefit from a Brexit?

One of the country’s leading commercial agents, CBRE, seem to think so.

Its Head of Research Marie Hunt expects a number of financial services, technology and other firms to relocate here from Britain, helping interest in the commercial property market as well as boosting the number of jobs available here.

While that will be a silver lining, Ms Hunt said the overall property market will be hit by the general economic uncertainty caused by Brexit and said it may cause some investors to delay making purchases.

That general view was shared yesterday by Sherry FitzGerald whose chief economist Marian Finnegan believes that the Brexit result could put more pressure on the Government to deal with the housing crisis.

She said: “There is a growing view that Brexit may lead to an uplift in occupier demand from the foreign direct investment sector. In particular, Dublin is likely to benefit from increased demand from financial services companies in need of an EU base.

“This will lead to a further increased demand for housing. With this in mind, it is imperative that the Government takes immediate action to remove the barriers to both construction and activity to allow a more normal function and responsive market re-emerge.”

Lisney also speculated earlier this week that a “wait and see” approach would emerge but warned that investment would be needed in housing, something that could lead to opportunities for building investors.

The initial result of the Brexit referendum certainly hasn’t dampened an interest in Irish property. Last weekend traffic to MyHome.ie from the UK was up 43 per cent, for example, although there is little doubt that the fall in value of sterling will put some people off.

Earlier this week the CSO reported that property prices were up by almost 7 per cent year on year and 0.2 per cent for the month of May. That gradual growth is expected to continue in the short term, largely due to a lack of supply, but we won’t fully know Brexit’s impact until a few months down the line, possibly at the turn of the year.

Let us know your thoughts:

  • What impact will Brexit have on the market here?
  • Will Ireland benefit from the Brexit?
  • Has it increased the need for more housing in our towns and cities?

Have your say below…

The post What impact will Brexit have on the Irish property market? appeared first on MyHome.ie Advice & Blog.