Leitrim half-price houses snapped up

 

NINE NEW homeowners in Co Leitrim got what they believed was a bargain deal at the weekend when they snapped up four-bedroomed detached houses at less than half the asking price.

The houses at Corryard Wood, Drumshanbo, were sold by the bank for from €140,000-€148,000 after the local developer went into receivership two months ago.

Prospective buyers started to queue at 5am on Friday morning for Saturday afternoon’s sale and many reported that the highlight of the long night was the hospitality of their new neighbours, some of whom had paid €320,000 for identical houses.

“One woman came over to us with a patio heater and they brought teas and coffees,” said Thomas Scollan, who celebrated his 26th birthday yesterday, hours after buying his first house.

“I knew almost everyone else in the queue. A lot of them  were local and at least three were first-time buyers like myself.”

Mr Scollan, a sales representative, said his new home was just 400 yards from his family home.

“I was reared just up the road. I would never have dreamt of buying one of these when they first came on the market. I suppose they are crazy rock-bottom prices.”

Taxi driver John McLoughlin (28) from Drumshanbo said the only break he took during the long wait was to bring a fare to Knock. “My aunt stood in for me – maybe someone in Knock prayed for me,” he joked.

Mr McLoughlin, who bought the house with his partner Paula Farrell, said: “They are fabulous houses and now we know all our neighbours before we even move in.”

A few people had reservations, though, including developer Niall McManus (40), whose firm went into receivership two months ago.

“All the bank has done has devalued everybody’s house within a 20-mile radius,” said Mr McManus, who had sold 11 of the 20 houses on the 13-acre site. However, he was proud of the development and “delighted” to see local people getting on the property ladder.

The developer estimated he had lost €500,000 of his own money getting the development finished off but “it’s time to turn a leaf now and try and move on”.