Reports this week showed Househunters queued for up to 36 hours as they waited for a chance to buy one of 24 new properties in Dublin.
The three and four-bedroom houses at Beechwood Heath in Hansfield hit the market this Friday, with prices starting at €300,000.
But some of those looking to snap up the brand new homes began queuing outside one of the houses from as early as 6am on Monday.
Many brought deck chairs, blankets and winter clothing as they prepared to brave the elements for four days until the houses go up for sale.
A number of prospective buyers slept in their cars on Monday night to keep their place in line, while others are even understood to have spent the night in tents.
Hopeful buyers will then be asked to put a €2,000 deposit on one of the homes, which is refundable if they choose not to proceed with the sale.
But while guide prices for the new houses are currently between €300,000 and €500,000, the actual cost won’t be confirmed until they hit the market later this week.
None of those queuing at the estate wished to give their name when speaking to Dublin Live, but many said they were doing so because they were desperate to get a foot on the property ladder.
One man waiting to be issued with a ticket outside one of the homes said he had been left disappointed too many times already in his search for a new home. He said: “I felt I had to stay overnight. There’s so much demand for new houses now. “I’ve been househunting for over a year and been to so many viewings, but every time, the house I’ve been looking for is gone as soon it goes on sale. “I know waiting like this looks ridiculous, but it’s so desperate now that you need to be waiting in line this early to stand a change of getting the house you need. “It’s the first time I’ve had to wait overnight, but hopefully it’ll be the last time too.
Another couple in their 20s revealed they had spent 23 hours in line before being given a ticket, and expected to take it in turns to wait until the selling agent’s office opens on Friday. They said: “We’ve been househunting a bit around Dublin, and mostly looking at new builds so we can avail of the Help-to-Buy scheme. “We like these houses because they’re nice and they’re in a good area, which seems to be growing in size and has a lot of local ameneties.
Labour councillor Andrew Montague said it was unacceptable that people were being forced to consider waiting for so long to secure new homes. He said: “This recalls the worst excesses of the Celtic Tiger property boom, and is a well known tactic to drive up interest in developments by rationing access, and leads to increased prices for home owners. “There is no reason why estate agents can’t use modern technology to solve this issue, instead of exploiting people’s dreams to drive publicity and prices.”
The Institute of Professional Auctioneers & Valuers also criticised the need for people to wait for days for a chance to buy a new home, with the group’s Chief Executive Pat Davitt saying the issue was “a symptom of a severe lack of supply of homes”.
Irish Mirror 13 April 2018