Opening Bell: Dublin house prices drop, uncertainty rules in Spain, Ireland's Christmas spending spree

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The Irish Independent's Real Estate Alliance price survey has found that there has been "significant falls in Dublin property prices."

It reports that asking prices have dropped across the county, down by 9.3% in south county Dublin, 3% in north county Dublin, and close to 6% in the city centre.

Outside of the capital prices have continued to rise - up by 20% in Monaghan, and 17% in Kerry and prices are still increasing in Dublin's commuter-belt.

REA Chairman Michael O'Connor commented on the figures, "People may want to buy housing, but if suitable properties are not available, they will not buy."

"In many areas, the properties available in the sub-€220,000 level are either apartments, houses that are too small or need too much investment to bring them up to standard. The market is still stalled at the second-time buyer level, due to the restrictive nature of the Central Bank's deposit lending rules.," he added.

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The future of Spain's prime minister appears uncertain after his party fell well short of an overall majority in the country's election.

The ruling Popular Party (PP) won most seats but lost command of the parliament after a strong showing by two smaller parties.

Spain's political scene is traditionally dominated by the Conservatives and the Socialists - they have alternated power for more than 30 years.

Negotiations - potentially lasting weeks - are now on the horizon as parties look to enter a coalition and form a government.

It is thought the PP will struggle to form a coalition, as entering into a deal with Ciudadanos - its closest political match - would still not give it enough seats.

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Retail Ireland has indicated that a last minute push by shoppers will see €4.05bn being spent in Irish stores in December - that would be a 3.5% increase compared to last year. 

It expects the average household to spend €2,450 this December - €600 more than an average month.

However, Retail Excellence Ireland says a 'three tier economy' is forming here when it comes to shopping.

The Dublin evening economy is said to be "robust and trading exceptionally well," while the day time economy is "performing well."

The provincial economy is reported to be lagging behind with "weak footfall and underwhelming consumer activity."

The group says the next week is a crucial time for the sector with emigrants and urban workers travelling home for Christmas.

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Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras is pushing for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to no be involved in the country's €86bn bailout - allowing European institutions to take full responsibility.

Speaking to The Financial Times he said that he was "puzzled by the unconstructive attitude of the fund on fiscal and financial issues."

"We think that after six years of managing in extraordinary crisis, Europe now has the institutional capacity to deal successfully with intra-European issues," he continued.

German officials have been the strongest supports of the IMF remaining involved in the process.

 

Additional reporting by IRN