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The apartments that cost less to fund than a car

FIRST-time buyers could purchase a new two-bedroom apartment in the midlands for less than the monthly repayments on a car.

Apartments at Tailteann Court in Mullingar, Co Westmeath, will go on sale for as little as €69,950 this weekend.

The price of owning a home in the development has fallen by almost two-thirds since they first came on the market for €202,000.

Originally the developer built 63 apartments at Tailteann Court in Irishtown but failed to sell a single one before National Irish Bank appointed the receiver on foot of debts of €7.8m.

Now receiver John McStay hopes to recoup €2m by selling 28 remaining apartments at discounts of between 55pc and 63pc of their original prices.

Prices start at €69,950 for one-bedroom apartments, €82,450 for two-bedroom units and €98,000 for three-bed units.

This means if a person were to take out a mortgage of €75,900, their net payments would be only €264.85 per month. This compares to a €15,000 car loan where the repayments would be €380.44.

Managing director of Irish Mortgage Corporation and broker to the scheme Frank Conway said the repayment was "among the lowest" he had seen.

"Certainly with values such as this, it is increasingly difficult to see prices going much lower. We have clearly broken the €100,000 price level for properties in major towns."

Strong interest has already been shown in the properties, according to local estate agent Aidan Davitt of Sherry FitzGerald Davitt & Davitt.

"There is relatively little overhang of new apartments because development work was postponed for a number of years due to the construction of a new sewage service," he added.

With average second-hand Mullingar flats now selling for around €100,000, he says local prices have fallen by about 50pc from their peak.


Mr Davitt also expects the Tailteann units will appeal to investors who will not have to pay stamp duty as the flats are priced below the €127,000 threshold.

The smallest one-bedroom apartment is approximately 48sqm while the largest three-bedroom unit at 117sqm.

Mr McStay believes Mullingar's close proximity to Dublin -- and a direct train service -- will also make the apartments an attractive prospect for commuters.

Mr McStay has enlisted the Irish Mortgage Corporation to arrange mortgages of up to 92pc of the property prices for first-time buyers and up to 75pc of the price for investors who aim to rent them out.

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