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From bust to boom: Ireland's first ghost town is putting 40 new houses on the market

Houses are being snapped up in this former ghost town once launched by Bertie Ahern.

6357_4752 (1272x1280) Source: Peter Moloney

ADAMSTOWN IN DUBLIN mirrors the past and present housing crises in Ireland.

At the height of the boom there were big plans for the new town in the Lucan area.

Over €2 billion was to be spent building houses for some 20,000 people who would live on 70 acres of parkland, sports facilities, a rail station and multiple schools. Taoiseach Bertie Ahern was even there for the turning of the sod.

Adamstown was the first of the so-called Strategic Development Zones (SDZ) which benefitted from fast-track planning (something today’s government is also planning to help solve the housing crisis).

Adamstown New Housing Developments People view plans and queue for a chance to buy a property at Adamstown in 2006. Source: Graham Hughes/Photocall Ireland!

However, fast forward a few years and everything had stalled.

The high hopes of having 20,000 families living there vanished with only 1,250 of its homes and apartments occupied.

Ireland’s first ghost town 

The launch of the Alderlie development – a 177 home development in Adamstown – was launched by joint Agents Savills & Leahy Residential, just three days after the government announced a Help-to-Buy scheme last year.

Some international outlets dubbed it Ireland’s ghost town, but in the last two years, it has seen a turnaround.

Type 8 Ext (1280x853) Source: Peter Moloney

Perhaps a stark contrast to when Ireland’s landscape was dotted with similar ghost estates, Ireland is now experiencing a housing crisis in 2017.

It’s no surprise then that, according to the letting agents, Alderlie was the most searched for new home development online in 2016 following its launch, just three days after the Budget.

First-time buyers

In October, the government announced a tax rebate incentive for first-time buyers, giving them up to €20,000 towards their deposit.

Showing just how much pressure the market is under, within a week of launching, nearly 50 homes had already been snapped up in Alderlie. Between October and December, 76 units at Alderlie were bought up in record time.

This weekend, a further 40 new units will be offered to the market.

6357_4725 (1280x853) Source: Peter Moloney

When the government’s first-time-buyers plans were announced, there was speculation it would raise the price of houses.

In one development in Dublin’s commuter counties, the developer added between €17,500 and €45,000 to the price of houses since the Budget speech.

This is merely a snapshot of one development post-Budget, and not indicative of any trend.

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House prices 

However, bucking the trend of accelerated price growth throughout 2016, the rate of house price growth in Dublin has unexpectedly slowed.

The latest property price index from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) shows there was a nationwide drop of 0.4% in property prices in the last month of 2016.

In Dublin, prices increased by 5.8%, while house prices in the rest of the country rose by more than 12% in the year to December.

The 40 Alderlie houses are priced at the same price as they were in October of last year – at €270,000 for a three bedroom house.

David Browne, Director of New Homes at Savills Ireland said the speed at which phase one of Alderlie sold out was unprecedented – “something we haven’t seen since before the downturn,” he said.

The introduction of the help-to-buy scheme for new homes buyers was undoubtedly a contributing factor, he said.

Browne said the area has benefitted significantly from the opening of the Phoenix Park tunnel which now provides onward service to the IFSC.

“We expect the remaining houses to sell in a relatively short period of time,” he said.

Read: House price growth ‘unexpectedly slowed’ in Dublin in December> 

Read: One city has seen a huge hike in house prices – and it isn’t Dublin>

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