Estate residents watch this Allsop Space


RESIDENTS OF Woodlands in Ballyjamesduff, Co Cavan, will be watching today’s Allsop Space auction in Dublin’s Shelbourne Hotel with interest to see what happens the rest of their estate, which is currently unfinished.

Robert Hoban, director of auctions at Allsop Space, says there has been strong interest in Lot 74, a four-acre site which currently has three houses on it and planning permission for another 31 houses. The site has a reserve of €40,000.

There are 36 houses in the finished part of the estate, in a mix of three- and four-bed detached and semi-detached houses, which were built in 2004. The four beds sold at the time for around €225,000.

Hoban says small builders, investors, and cash buyers, primarily from Cavan and Northern Ireland, have been making inquiries. However, it remains to be seen if a future buyer will finish the estate.

“Everybody is watching to see what happens,” says Hoban, who believes we may see other unfinished estates being sold.

“Many of the existing estates are sitting, waiting and getting into worse condition. Some think the State should take control and build social housing or that they be demolished. But another option is to sell them on to a third party.”

Hoban says it is hard to establish value until a property goes under the hammer. “In terms of setting a reserve, is it worth €40,000 or €100,000? We don’t really know until it goes to auction.”

Woodlands was built by Northern Ireland developers Seaview Castle Contracts and is now being sold by receiver Kavanagh Fennell.

A local who did not want to be named says, given a proliferation of estates in the area, it’s unlikely there is a market for more new homes in the area if the Woodlands estate were to be finished.

“There are vacant houses in most of the estates because too many were built. The finished part of the Woodlands estate has no street lighting, rubbish is being dumped, and there’s no one to take charge,” she said.