HOUSE hunters queued for almost 48 hours for new homes in Portmarnock last weekend as economist David McWilliams warned of Celtic Tiger 2 hysteria.
McWilliams, one of the few commentators to predict the crash in 2008, said the demand for starter homes in Dublin was at a level not seen since 2005.
He likened advertising campaigns which target young couples as a form of “property porn” which, he said, poses a greater threat than Brexit.
All 33 houses in the first phase of the 101-unit St Marnock’s Bay build were sold on the first day of viewing after couples slept out in their cars to secure their place in the queue. The three- and four-bed homes range in price from €450,000 to €665,000.
One successful buyer, Laura McDermott, said: “It’s a bit of a whirlwind, really.”
Speaking on RTE on Saturday night, McWilliams said: “This property porn is what really annoys me … houses, that are just accommodation, are advertised as some kind of dream for people.
“For example, in Portmarnock today there are people queuing out for a new housing estate. That is something that goes back to 2005. What really angers me is that the property market divides the country.”
He said we were on the cusp of “another crisis” and asked why credit unions, who hold €14bn in deposits, are not allowed by the Central Bank to use it for housing.
Fingal County Council reported a surge of almost 20% in planning applications for housing last year, indicating that the boom may be back.
The St Marnock’s Bay development signals a return to the area for Sean Mulryan’s Ballymore Homes, which launched nearby Drumnigh Wood in 2002.
Six of the top-ten searches for property nationwide are in Fingal, according to Daft.ie’s latest report.
New figures show that the average deposit for first time buyers in Dublin has risen from €30,000 to €50,000.
Alan Gilligan, who took his first step on the property ladder with partner Lisa McDermott, said: “We have been looking for more than a year; mainly looking at the used market because there were very few new builds, so this is the end of a long process.
“We thought the days of queuing outside housing estates were behind Ireland, but unfortunately that’s not the case.”