There's not much business in the way of mortgages at the moment -- the banks don't have the cash to lend and most consumers are too unsure to make a commitment, which is a pity. There are some fantastic bargains to be had at the moment, with many houses at the top end of the market falling more than 50 per cent from their peak. As well as saving on the cost price, if you're looking to buy a €850,000 home over 20 years and you have a 20 per cent deposit you could save over €11,000 on your annual repayments by shopping around.
Best AIB (APR 3.34%) €3,869 per month
Avoid PTSB (APR 5.9%) €4,793 per month
Savings €11,088 per year
The news this week that Airtricity is set to raise prices by as much as 20 per cent caused consternation in a lot of households around the country, as many consumers are already struggling to pay their household bills. While prices for utilities will ultimately go up across all providers, thanks to competition in the market there are still savings to be made. If you've changed to one of the alternative electricity providers in recent years, now may be the time to switch back to ESB. We looked at a household electricity bill of about €1,000 per annum.
Best ESB Electric Ireland €877.89
Avoid Bord Gais Energy €1,115.53
Contact 1850 30 50 90 or at www.esb.ie
While you have the phone in your hand, why not save yourself a few quid on your gas bill as well. While Bord Gais are the dominant provider in the market, ESB, Airtricity and Flogas also provide natural gas at home. While there has been some changes in the tariffs that all charge and further increases can't be ruled out, Flogas is still the cheapest, so if you haven't already changed, get on it -- it only takes a few minutes. We found the best price for a household that currently spends about €180 every two months on gas.
Best Flogas €968.19 per year
Avoid Airtricity €1,128.82 per year
contact 1850 306 800 or at www.flogasnaturalgas.ie
Mortgage protection is a requirement for most mortgage lenders and it's reassuring to know that your loved ones won't be in trouble if the worst happens. It's also something that most of us rarely shop around on and like everything else, we really need to. We looked at mortgage protection for a couple, who are both aged 35 and are non-smokers, for life cover of €300,000 over a term of 30 years.
Best Zurich Life €34.13 per month
Avoid Canada Life €47.82 per month.
Savings €164.28 per annum
contact 1890 443 443 or at www.lifecover4less.ie
Sunday Indo Business