Ceol na Mara estate

Houses in the picturesque housing estate of Ceol na Mara, Cliffoney, Sligo were selling for half-price on Saturday.

The planned 28 semi-detached homes were not completed by the developer before the company went into receivership. The receiver has now brought in new builders to complete the estate and on Saturday they were selling the houses for $162,121. Previously similar houses in the area would have sold for $324, 179.

Residents, already settled in the estate, are relieved that the complex has been completed to the standard to that they were promised. David Reynolds, of Gunne Reynold real estate agents, handing the sales, said that the current residents are willing to look at the positive rather than focus on the fact that they are in negative equity.

On Saturday Mr Reynolds took six booking deposits. Some were first-time buyers and others were interested in the houses as holiday homes.

“We have taken a number of deposits and we had a good crowd here,” said Mr Reynolds. “It's all down to the location and price, and the finish of the properties.”

It has become a common spectacle in Ireland. Over the past number of months the Ceol na Mara estate had become an eyesore until it was completed. Inadequate lighting, unplanted lawns and greens and potholed roads and paths were the norm but now it is completed customers are literally queuing up to see the houses.

This phenomenon of cut-price houses is expected to continue as the NAMA prepares to sell off ghost estates and property developments which have been taken off the books of Irish banks.

In June, in Mulhaddart, Dublin a block of 30 apartments were cut from $3.88 million to $2.33 million. Anglo Irish Bank also recently launched 90 apartments in Carrickmines, Dublin at cut-prices. Buyers were queuing for one-bed properties for $174,884 and two-beds for $233,179.