15 thoughts on “Ghost estates in Ireland”

  1. I get a little fed-up with ghost estates being characterised in terms which only suggests they’re a problem. Why hasn’t this property been placed on the market? Why don’t sellers allow the property to find its own value?

    If we decided tomorrow, for the sake of argument, to reduce wages to €1 per hour, our international competitiveness would rocket and businesses would find reasons to relocate to Ireland to exploit the cheap factor of production.

    If the so-called ghost estates were sold at realistic prices, economic uses would be found as residences, holiday homes, old age accommodation, company “compounds”.

    Ghost estates can be characterised as a huge national asset and opportunity – not just a problem for developers who will undoubtedly take a bath on them financially. If NAMA can operate in a competitive fashion and we forget the nonsense of “placing a floor” under property prices then maybe we can exploit this huge national asset of ghost estates, and not wallow around in a fugue of self-pity.

  2. Well at the minute they’re a problem because nobody would even consider selling them as you suggest as they’d flood the market. To do what you suggest, as I’m sure you realise, would require a complete rethinking of many elements of our economy.

    Also, who wants a holiday home on the outskirts of Termonfeckin, or to put their relation in a home 15 miles outside Mullingar. Most of the dwellings wouldn’t be suitable for such use anyway…

    Broadly though, I agree with your thinking…

  3. nobody seems to be looking at the bigger picture here, a lot of eu money was spent in ireland during the boom, lots of euros invested, why are the powers that be even being allowed to talk about bulldozing these properties? there are masses of eastern european immigrants flooding to britain, with nowhere to live, ???????????????????

  4. “Well at the minute they’re a problem because nobody would even consider selling them as you suggest as they’d flood the market. ” They would depress prices because of supply/demand economics but it would be a temporary decline and if these assets create wealth, employment and regeneration surely that is the straightest way to restore property prices generally. Also I don’t believe anyone (DKM, NIRSA, UCD, Goodbody, 2Pac on Propertypin) has understood the economic reality of the vacant property – sure we have 350k empties but set against Ireland’s long term averages (and I have seen research that goes back to 1991) there’s possibly a true overhang in the 40-50k region. There will shortly be a major post to explain in detail the sources for this.

    “To do what you suggest, as I’m sure you realise, would require a complete rethinking of many elements of our economy.” [In the short term, property might drop another 30% or so, yes. the consequences of negative equity would be harsh but if these assets help create wealth, income and regeneration then instead of a Chinese torture erosion of property prices (which we will have whilst this overhang exists and people know it exists), we take a short term hit and then recover.

    “Also, who wants a holiday home on the outskirts of Termonfeckin, or to put their relation in a home 15 miles outside Mullingar. Most of the dwellings wouldn’t be suitable for such use anyway…” At €30k, yes please I’ll take a 3-bedroom holiday home (preferably on the outskirts of anywhere, ie rural). At interest rates of 5% pa and a mortgage over 15 years, I’ll need generate about €5k a year to make a tidy profit – that’s 12 weeks at €400 per week. Sorry, don’t mean to be flippant but you may not see a market but trust me, these homes will find their level – stick them in a no-reserve auction to see.

    You know, I grew up in a basic house in the midlands, 3 small bedrooms, a range in the kitchen and open fire in the sitting room, a moveable calorgas fire, wooden windows, a flat roof on the extension at the back that often leaked, hot water heated from the range, one bathroom with no shower, septic tank outside. Yes the good old days. Some of these homes might be badly built and might be on flood plains – however I’m willing to bet the majority are well-built, double glazed, modern, fuel efficient, decent homes. To me these are economic assets which the State should be considering as assets. To developers they are a nightmare but the reign of developers is over and the new kings will be the entrepreneurs that regenerate the economy and cheap housing assets will help immeasureably. To me demolishing homes is akin to digging up the M50 or taking the wrecking ball to Ardnacrusha – it’s destroying economic assets and what worries me is that NAMA is considering its own narrow world despite the fact that it is a building block (a very important building block) in the national recovery – NAMA’s actions should be regulated in that overall context.

  5. Fair Enough,we overbuilt.
    But we built houses so we are asset rich!We did not waste money on the arms race! We did not spend billions on Nuclear rockets!
    Its only the 1/4 to 1/2 built apartments blocks that have to be knocked down!They were cheap to build so the cost price would not be too much.This only leaves the unoccupied houses to be let or sold.

  6. Turn them over to social housing and create a real social housing sector in ireland for the first time. Not ust to loca authorities but to non-profit community housing associatiosn and co-ops…

  7. We bought a house in a ghost estate, and we now hear the developer is pulling out, so all the unfinished houses, and promised infrastructure is going to sit dorment, all the rubbish, rubble, etc will be left behind.

    The houses themselves are falling apart, doors falling off hinges after only only 2 yrs being in the house, plumbing leaks all over the house, its pure and simple shoddy workmanship etc. drains that overflow, inadequate street lighting- and the prospect of facing being in the red and negative equity for years and years to come, Cant help but feel the homeowners are going to be left up the creek without a paddle.

  8. I’m doing a dissertation on the topic of ghost estates. I did an essay on it and got 70%. Yes, it needs a lot of work and when I read over it I realised it’s a bit naive but I have some suggesstions and statistics in it that are new and I’m sure will be of interest to all of you. Please let me know if you want a copy of it and give me your critisisms, also if you know of anyone I can contact that could help me on this I will be eternally in your debt!

  9. Hi Eoin Cahalan,

    I am doing a thesis on a similar topic and would like to have a look at your essay and associated suggestions and statistics..
    My email is milly10@live.ie
    I will comment on ur work.. Tanx.

  10. Hello Eoin,
    Like James I too am preparing a Dissertation on the current topic of Ghost Estates in Ireland. I have undertaken some in-depth research to date and would be happy to give you my criticisims / comments on your work. Feel free to forward it to me and I will return with comments.

    Regards

    Anthony. My email is ghostestates2010@gmail.com

  11. I am also writing a dissertation on ghost estates looking at a sustainable re-use for them, I would be happy to share my research with any of you. Also it would be great to see some of your research, just to get a different angle at things.

  12. Hello, i am currently doing research on the topic of ghost estates in ireland and would be really grateful if any of you could send me on your findings to help me get a grasp of other peoples views on the topic. It would be a great help and really appreciated. My email is Thank you

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