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Thursday 28 August 2014

Home alone

HARRY KEANEY

Published 06/11/2012 | 17:57

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A GHOST estate in Ballymote is on the market for just €240,000 – less than the cost of a single house in the development only a few years ago.

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Only one of the 14 houses in the unfinished Downs Estate is occupied.

The houses initially went on sale in 2007 with hefty price tags of €250,000 and €245,000. But only one was ever sold in what was described as "a prestigious development in a magical location".

Now 13 of the estate's 14 houses are up for grabs with an asking price of €240,000.

Three of the houses are fully complete, three more plastered internally, while seven are at what's called "shell stage".

The only occupied house is the best maintained. The householder declined to comment on the sale of the estate. Auctioneers Sherry FitzGerald are selling the estate on instruction from receivers Kavanagh Fennell. Selling agent Ken Draper said: "It's priced to allow an incoming builder/developer to complete the units and have some margin."

There are also sites for more detached houses along the front of the development, located in Keenaghan. For another €10,000, there's an option to buy an adjoining parcel of land for 33 more housing units.

The houses were built in mid-2000 on a two-field site of seven acres that cost more than €1m.

Local councillor Pat McGrath said it was "a sign of the times."

He added: "It was unfortunate that the developer was not able to complete the estate.

' To buy the estate now and finish it will cost money."

But he pointed out that it was one of the better so-called ghost estates and "wouldn't take a lot to finish it off."

"The Downs estate's location in Ballymote is only a few hundred yards from the centre of town.

"It's location is high and convenient to the centre of Ballymote.

"I would be hoping that people would see value for money and I would welcome any move for people to buy and move in.

"Houses are becoming more affordable but access to money is often the issue."

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