New Irish housing estates built during the boom “Celtic Tiger” years have become magnets for theft and pose some serious health and safety risks.
Building plots and half finished estates were abandoned due to developers they ran out of money during the crash.
Many new estates were built just outside small towns, and the homes within were offered at vastly inflated prices.
The recently well documented crash of the Irish economy has left behind an estimated 350 abandoned housing estates. These estates have made it impossible for people who bought at the height of the boom to now sell or move on. A large percentage of the new estates have fallen in value by over 50% and many abandoned Irish estates only have around 50% occupation at best.
In some cases these new estates have turned into crime ridden ghost towns where theft from the unfinished buildings is rife. In most cases it’s difficult to understand where the potential market for the new homes would have come from. The local villages and towns nearby would never have been able to sustain out of town workers, and rising unemployment will only enhance that effect.
Abandoned Irish estates remain in limbo with foundations and major ground works still to be completed, creating hazardous places for the existing tenants or owners. The mothballing of estates began after the property crash in 2007. The top 5 counties for ghost estates are Cork: 52 estates, Kerry: 35 estates, Cavan: 34 estates, Leitrim: 13 estates, Dublin city: 12 ghost estates.
Councils & Government Solutions
Local county councils are attempting to get all those involved around a table for talks so that some resolution can be found to the problems that remain. The State cannot afford to take on any more of the €22.3bn debt which is still owed by the top 12 indebted developers. Some councils have expressed the desire to utilise the insurance bonds on the developments in order to recoup some losses. In response, insurance companies have stated that they would fight this process legally.
In the meantime a National Co-ordination Committee has been set up to oversee progress on any incomplete housing developments in Ireland.