Friday 28 November 2014

House hunters queuing for five days before new homes go on sale

Joyce Fegan and Mark O'Regan

Published 03/09/2014 | 16:04

Eager house hunters have started queuing outside a Dublin housing estate five days before new homes go on sale there.

Three separate buyers set up camp in Millers Glen in Swords north county Dublin at lunchtime yesterday and have not left the site since.

"I have my heart set on this," said retail manager Megan O'Shaughnessy (23), who is top of the queue.

Millers Glen is a new development of 60 houses, consisting of two, three and four bed family homes, in the Dublin suburb of Swords.

Millers Glen estate in Swords, the houses go on sale Saturday at 2pm. Picture credit; Damien Eagers 3/9/2014
Millers Glen estate in Swords, the houses go on sale Saturday at 2pm. Photo: Damien Eagers
From l to r are, Megan O'Shaughnessy, 23, Thomas Beveridge, 22, Lisa Stacey, 27, and Shantelle Farrell, 20, queueing to buy a house at Millers Glen estate in Swords, the houses go on sale Saturday at 2pm. Photo: Damien Eagers 3/9/2014
Megan O'Shaughnessy, 23, Thomas Beveridge, 22, Lisa Stacey, 27, and Shantelle Farrell, 20, queueing to buy a house at Millers Glen estate in Swords, the houses go on sale Saturday at 2pm. Photo: Damien Eagers 3/9/2014

Three-bedroom end terrace houses are on the market at €279,950.

Three-bedroom semis cost €289,950, while a four-bed detached house is selling for €399,950.

Megan plans to take it in turns with her fiance, a sales assistant, to ensure they don't lose their place in the line.

"No one is allowed in to see the houses until Saturday, but I'm going to stay here until then.

"I haven't looked around the house, but they're a good price. It's a three bed semi I'm after," she told independent.ie "I've seen the pictures and all we'll have to put down is floor covering. It comes fitted with kitchen, wardrobes, everything."

She said house prices in the vicinity of the development are "rising fast".

"The prices are going to keep going up. If we moved out of Swords we'd probably get something  cheaper but we want to go that far.

"There will definitely be others joining the queue in the coming days," she added.

She said they had saved €30,000 - 10pc of the house price - and secured a mortgage for the remaining €250,000.

Ronan O'Driscoll, director of Sherry FitzGerald, said interest in the housing units is "unprecedented."

"There are about four parties there at the moment, but we'd expect it to grow over the next few days," he said.

"They'll probably use tents. I've been involved in this business for 25 years, and I haven't seen anything like this since 2006.

"Even at the height of the boom, I never remember people queuing on a Tuesday, for a show house opening on a Saturday.

"That's unprecedented in my view."

It is the first new housing estate in Swords since 2006, he said.

Behind Megan were other hopefuls.

"I'm here since last night, and I'm staying for the long haul," said Chentelle Farrell.

"It's the right time to buy and €240,000 is in our price range. I'm had my eye on the house for a while; we love it."

The new housing estate was developed by Gannon Properties and the 60 homes are open for viewing this Saturday.

In scenes reminiscent of the boom, the potential buyers said they will all be "heartbroken" if they do not get the houses they are after.

Families, friends and potential new neighbours are all stopping by offering support.

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