Opening Bell: The cost of running a home rises, May plans business boost, Facebook's new London office

Get up to speed with today's breaking Irish and international business news

If you bought your house at the peak of the boom in 2007, it's costing you an average of €21,900 to run your home this year.

After dropping for the first time in four years in 2015, the annual cost of owning and maintaining a family home has risen again to €16,611.14 – equating to about 45.39% of the current average Irish national wage.

"The rise in property prices is the biggest change to the AA figures this year but the consumer did make some gains on energy and heating costs," said Director of Consumer Affairs Conor Faughnan. "Prices rose for items like home insurance, broadband and bin charges."

______________________________________________________

British Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to announce a major boost for businesses - by slashing corporation tax from 20% to 17%.

At the Confederation of British Industry conference, she will reveal plans to make £2bn extra per year available to invest in scientific research and development between now and 2020.

The BBC quotes the speech which will be delivered later today: "We will also review the support we give innovative firms through the tax system... because my aim is not simply for the UK to have the lowest corporate tax rate in the G20, but also one that is profoundly pro-innovation," it reads.

______________________________________________________

Facebook's planning to expand its UK workforce - increasing its headcount by 50% to more than 1,500.

The social media giant is planning a major expansion of its London operations.

Last week, Google announced it will open a new head office in the capital and Apple is planning a similar move.

Facebook's European head Nicola Mendelsohn said: "The UK remains one of the best places to be a tech company and is an important part of Facebook's story."

______________________________________________________

Russian President Vladimir Putin told reporters last night that he hopes that Russia/US relations will "normailise" while Donald Trump is in office.

Mr Putin also spoke-out against the proposed TTIP trade deal between the EU and US.

The (seemingly-doomed) agreement would have created the world's largest free trade bloc and Russia would have been left on the outside.

"Creating closed trade [blocs] will not benefit the global economy," Mr Putin said.

"My view has not changed. Moreover, I said that Russia believes that one of the factors contributing to the restoration of global economic growth is the development of global trade. And global trade cannot effectively evolve without the free movement of goods, capital and labor," he continued.