Sunday 25 February 2018

Unfinished ghost estate snapped up for €122,500

Luke Byrne and Edel O'Connell

AN UNFINISHED ghost estate that went under the hammer sold for €122,500 at an auction yesterday.

The lot included three nearly complete houses in Woodlands housing estate in Ballyjamesduff, Co Cavan, and a four-acre site where another planned 31 houses were to be built.

This sale, at the latest Allsop Space auction in Dublin's Shelbourne Hotel, has implications for the many incomplete estates throughout the country, some of which have already been bulldozed.

The estate, part of a larger development in the area, garnered a lot of interest and sold at a remarkable price given that the reserve started at €40,000.

Houses in a different part of the development had sold for up to €250,000 four years ago, Robert Hoban, associate director of Allsop Space, said.

Carol Lovett a resident of the development, who owns her home, said she did not know whether to welcome the sale or not. "I would be delighted if this meant things like lighting were going to be put in place and tarmacadam laid and we wouldn't have to deal with gaping manholes anymore but to be honest we are all confused as to what is going to happen now," she said.

Ms Lovett, who has lived at the estate for four years, added: "What I would be afraid of is this man is going to turn into yet another absentee landlord on the estate. Will the receiver be obliged to finish out the works that are needed now or will he just take the money and run?" she asked.

Ms Lovett said the estate had been plagued by young people drinking and squatting and engaging in anti-social behaviour in recent years. "There are boarded up houses and basically anything that could be done to improve the situation would be great but right now we don't know what this means," Ms Lovett said.

The successful bidder was a property developer from the North who wished to remain anonymous. He plans to finish the three houses and hold on to the site until the market improves.

The Ballyjamesduff estate was one of 106 lots that came under the hammer yesterday morning. Darby O'Gill's Hotel in Killarney also went for more than its reserve price. Following an intense bidding war, it was sold for €735,000, which was a significant increase on the reserve price of €515,000.

Jenette Delmonaco (28) secured a large three-bedroom house outside Macroom, Co Cork, for €104,000 after just a handful of bids on what is her dream property. It had a reserve price of €90,000.

A total of €13m was raised from the 98 properties on offer.

Elsewhere, Weirs pub in Dun Laoghaire, Dublin, sold for its reserve price of €450,000 with a bid taken over the phone.

Yesterday's was the second property auction of the year and the sixth auction of its kind to date. The event was also the debut for the first lady auctioneer at Allsop's to take the hammer at such a large auction.

Daphne Mahon (26), from Co Fermanagh, was greeted by applause by the audience.

She said it was a great feeling to sell her first property, a site at Beechwood Park, Co Donegal, which went for €23,000.

Angela Keegan, from MyHome.ie, said that last year the first Allsop auction captured the public's imagination but yesterday's event "was all about the property business, pure and simple".

"This shows how much these auctions have now become part and parcel of the Irish property scene," she said.

Statistics compiled by MyHome showed that there were 87 sales yesterday and €465,500 was raised over the reserve mark in total, with an 82.1pc success rate.

Irish Independent

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