Opening Bell: Potential homebuyers' pent-up demand, bankers' salary caps, the Fed goes steady

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One in four Irish consumers are thinking of buying a home in the next two years.

A new homebuyer survey carried out by KBC bank shows that around half of those consumers are already planning their purchase.

The research, from January, also claims there is very little evidence of a 'buyer frenzy,' as would-be purchasers are cautious about committing to a home purchase.

It suggests that Ireland has 70,000 ‘ready and able’ prospective home buyers who are waiting for more supply to come to market.

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Finance Minister, Michael Noonan has indicated that he will not object if Bank of Ireland offers more than the current €500,000 per year salary pay cap as it looks to attract a replacement for its current CEO, Richie Boucher.

"If they appoint somebody significant from outside I think the parameters for negotiating pay will be somewhere in line with Mr Boucher’s case," Mr Noonan said yesterday.

The bank's current boss had a total pay packet of €958,000 last year, his contract was agreed before the cap was introduced.

He added that the bank has not contacted his Department in relation to this issue. The State acquired 14% of the bank during the financial crisis.

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Federal Reserve chair, Janet Yellen has reiterated her intention to introduce gradual interest rate increases, as she aims to boost the US inflation rate to 2% without allowing the US economy to overheat.

"Whereas before we had our foot pressed down on the gas pedal trying to give the economy all the oomph we possibly could, now allowing the economy to kind of coast and remain on an even keel, to give it some gas but not so much that we are pressing down hard on the accelerator, that’s a better stance of monetary policy," she said yesterday.

Ms Yellen described the current state of the US economy as "healthy."

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There's bad news for passengers this morning after talks to resolve the Bus Eireann dispute broke down without a deal.

The company says an agreement was reached on eliminating many work practise inefficiencies, but their offer aimed at addressing financial viability was rejected by the driver grade within the unions.

The NBRU has issued a statement saying unions were prepared to contribute upwards of €18m towards the savings needed at the company.