This week, The Consumer Show sits in at Ireland's first distressed property auction and finds that we are still a country obsessed with property and property prices.
With the Irish property market paralysed by falling house prices and very little turnover, we examine if this auction has helped to identify a floor for prices and created a new marketplace for buying property. Reporter Joe O'Shea follows the auction on the day to see if these low reserve prices are realistic guides and if there are actually attractive purchases to be had. From Irish purchasers to UK investors, from first time buyers to curious estate agents, we meet and speak to them all about their experiences.
We also talk to journalist Richard Curran and Property Economist, Ronan Lyons, about the property crash and where recovery lies, and if this auction has helped create a true picture of the property market now emerging in this country.
In studio Eddie gives his take on what this auction tells us about the property market.
This week Eddie looks at personal debt which is now at a crisis level in Ireland. Consumers finding themselves struggling with mounting bills and threatsfrom creditors are turning to debt management companies. These companies promise easy payment plans, frozen interest charges and a debt free future.
Eddie talks to two of our viewers who used a private debt management firm found themselves even further in debt than when they first started. Eddie advises to look carefully at the small print and ask about the fee structure. In this current climate the number of debt management companies in Ireland is growing all the time and yet this industry remains completely unregulated.
If you are struggling to pay your bills and feel there are no options open to you, your first port of call should be to your local MABS office. (Money Advice and Budgeting Service Ireland). MABS is a national, free, confidential and independent service for people in debt or in danger of getting into debt.1890 283438
MABS helpline: 1890 283438 Line are open Monday to Friday 9am-8pm
The Consumer Show Trolley
Since January, The Consumer Show has been tracking the prices of over one hundred products, everything from fruit, veg, bread, milk, cereals, soft drinks and detergents in the major supermarkets.
This week we look at the average cost of fifty products over the last 14 weeks at the big four supermarkets. Superquinn was the most expensive and Supervalu was second dearest, followed very closely by Dunnes. But the cheapest trolley of The Consumer Show products was found in Tesco with their prices coming in ¤12 cheaper than Superquinn's.
We will continue to monitor and update you on these prices through out the series of The Consumer Show.
If you want to check the prices for your grocery shop or create your own shopping list with the cheapest products available, you can do it at one one of two independent supermarket price comparison websites.