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Sunday 19 August 2018

In pictures: Desperate house-hunters queue outside new Dublin development days ahead of sale

The queue at Beechwood Gate, Hansfield, Dublin 15. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
The queue at Beechwood Gate, Hansfield, Dublin 15. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
New houses at Beechwood Gate, Hansfield, Dublin 15.
Beechwood Gate
Miguel Paz
Hansfield, Dublin 15.
Martin Mooney in the queue at Beechwood Gate
Potential buyers from left Judy Lay with her daughter Yvonne Mak, Dermot Smyth (back) and Martin Mooney
Conor Feehan

Conor Feehan

IF there was any lingering, minuscule doubt about the difficulties in getting on the property ladder in Dublin, it can be dispelled.

In scenes reminiscent of the infamous days at the height of the Celtic Tiger property boom, desperate house hunters are currently queuing outside the sales office in the hope of securing a property in a new development. But the houses aren't on sale until Friday.

Some house-hunters have been queuing at the sales office since yesterday at 6.30am.

But the 24 homes at Beechwood Heath in Hansfield, Dublin 15 are due to go on sale at the end of this week.

New houses at Beechwood Gate, Hansfield, Dublin 15.
New houses at Beechwood Gate, Hansfield, Dublin 15.

“This is the situation now. This is how bad it's got,” one man told Independent.ie.

Sitting on deck chairs, wrapped in blankets and winter clothing, the hopeful buyers pleaded with the sales agents to issue them with numbered tickets so they can get on with their lives and come back on Friday when the sales office opens.

“We have an orderly agreed queue here, and we all know where each other are in it, so we think the selling agents should do the right thing and give us tickets. Our lives are on hold while we are here,” said one young mother earlier.

“There are people coming to us with food, and we are availing of local toilets and the kindness of others,” she added.

Beechwood Gate
Beechwood Gate

“The homes carry guide prices of between €300,000 and €500,000 at the moment. They are three and four bed units, but we won’t know an exact price until Friday morning,” one man explained. He joined the queue early yesterday morning.

A woman who is near the top of the queue said the housing supply is so low that there is high demand and a climate of rising prices.

“It’s a Catch 22 situation. You can look for second hand houses and be out-bid, or go for a new build and have to queue like this for a fixed price,” she told Independent.ie.

Miguel Paz stood patiently in the queue getting to know his potential neighbours.

Miguel Paz
Miguel Paz

“I am from Spain and I have never seen this happen over there. Yet people here tell me it is how things are done in Ireland now,” he said.

Buyers will have to put a €2,000 deposit on the houses, and it is refundable if they do not proceed with the sale.

For those willing to sit it out it is a long, cold and wet endurance race, but others have given up because their circumstances could not allow them to continue.

“I saw one young couple here for a few hours on Monday and they were taking turns in and out of the car to queue, but they had a young baby and the mother was breastfeeding the child. I felt sorry for them because they had to give up on the queue,” said one man.

Potential buyers from left Judy Lay with her daughter Yvonne Mak, Dermot Smyth (back) and Martin Mooney
Potential buyers from left Judy Lay with her daughter Yvonne Mak, Dermot Smyth (back) and Martin Mooney

Independent.ie contacted the selling agents, Kelly Walsh, to enquire if a ticketing system would be rolled out for those in the queue.

“We have been instructed to make no comment,” a spokeswoman said earlier in the day.

Later, the selling agents confirmed they are now distributing numbered tickets to those in the queue so they can go home and return on Friday.

Queueing for houses became a regular occurrence in the Celtic Tiger years as house prices spiralled and people were anxious to get on the property ladder.

Demand and supply issues, as well as easy credit, fuelled the property bubble that eventually burst, leading to a collapse in house prices and homeowners in negative equity with many unable to pay their mortgages.

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