Property prices may be rising in Dublin but a ghost estate will go for auction in Carlow this week – with a guide price of just $13,000 per home or $260,000 for all 20 properties.

The 20 courtyard style townhouses are situated in the Dolmen Mews development on the Kilkenny Road in the midlands town.

The Irish Sun reports that the housing complex was built at the height of the Celtic Tiger boom.

But 20 of the houses never sold and are about to be brought to the market by receiver Peter Stapleton from the Lisney group.

Auctioneer Matthew Conry of REA Dawson believes the 20 houses could represent a dream investment.

Conry told the Irish Sun: “These houses were built between 2004 and 2006 and they have never been lived in. They are very nice properties and in a very nice area.

“I think they would suit a business person or a developer who is looking for a good investment - it could be a good opportunity for them.”

The one snag according to the report is that the development was granted planning permission on the basis that it would be used for holiday homes.

Hotels and holiday villages sprung up across Ireland during the Celtic Tiger boom times after giveaway governments rewarded developers with tax-break incentives.

Auctioneer Conry explained: “Any prospective buyer would probably have to look at the possibility of getting these properties rezoned so they could be sold as residential properties.

“The people who have been interested in this development have done their homework and have looked into this - they know what to expect.

“They see an opportunity and are looking to the future - it is a positive investment.

“The houses need to be finished off with some fittings inside but they are very nice.”

The development comprises five three-bedroom townhouses, 11 two-bedroom townhouses and four one-bedroom apartments.

The distressed property auction will also feature a whole street of 12 new terraced houses in the Donegal village of Ramelton is up for grabs for just $260,000.

Auctioneer Dean Spencer of Sherry Fitzgerald Rainey in Letterkenny says the 12 properties are now going together for the same price one of the houses would have cost the height of the property bubble.

He said: “During the boom, these houses would have commanded prices of around $260,000, so to get a complete terrace of 12 of them does represent exceptional value.”

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