IT was billed as the deal of the century, with new homes on offer for just €2,381 each. But in the end, a housing estate sold for more than four times its price tag.
An unidentified buyer snapped up 63 houses on the commuter belt for €649,000 yesterday after the bank had put the houses on the market. This means each house cost a paltry €10,301.
However the Glendale housing estate, in Tullow, Co Carlow, went for significantly more than the €150,000 the bank said it was willing to accept.
But despite paying more than four times the asking price, the buyer still got a "complete bargain" compared to boom prices.
There were over 20 interested parties in the auction room and eight serious bidders. But after an hour of to-ing and fro-ing, it was a solicitor representing an unknown purchaser who settled the transaction.
Marcus McCormack, of DNG McCormack Properties, conducted the sale on behalf of a bank whose client had gone into receivership.
Most of the two-bed homes are completed to a high standard. However, others need some work to complete the kitchens and bathrooms.
The Glendale estate also comes with 58 more sites with planning permission and is situated on 14 acres.
Initially, it was planned as a retirement village and is located next to the Glendale nursing home on the Shillelagh Road, close to the centre of Tullow.
There is one snag with the properties, however, as some fees are still due to the council and will need to be negotiated.
"When you compare it with historic prices, it is a complete bargain," explained Mr McCormack shortly after the sale.
"It's a huge positive boost for property and investment in Tullow," he said, describing the houses as of "high standard" and in a "lovely location".
The homes, many of which are terraced, are surrounded by green fields.
Mr McCormack said he believed the purchaser would complete the estate and sell off the properties.
"The market is slow enough, so a price of €40,000-€45,000 would attract a lot of first-time buyers. It's good value for money."
He added: "There needs to be a readjustment of prices of these properties, we have to accept that. It's completely a buyer's market."