Case study 'The banks seem to be open for business again'
James Grace sold the first house he built in Crookstown, Co Cork, in 2008 for €390,000.
One year later, he used the profit from the sale to buy a site three miles away in Templemartin, and began building a new home to accommodate his young family. But it was around this time the banks had begun to significantly curtail lending.
He sought mortgage approval from various financial institutions to complete his house building – but was refused at every turn.
"It was nearly complete but I needed a €100,000 mortgage to finish the job." He was forced to temporarily abandon the project and, from 2009, the site remained idle, until six months ago.
"Because I was self-employed, the banks were basically telling me to forget it." However, with a renewed buoyancy to the property market, he has since managed to secure a mortgage with Permanent TSB, and is currently putting the finishing touches to his dream home.
"The banks seem to be open for business again," he said.