One of Northern Ireland’s ghost estates has been completed and sold for £2.3m, just under 10 years after the property market crash, the developers have announced.
Work on the Scotch Quarter in Carrickfergus started in 2008, but was abandoned after one year due to the recovery failure of the property market.
Almost 10 years later, the new developer Hagan Homes, has finished the 24-unit development of one and two bedroom apartments after taking control of the building scheme last year.
The company announced on 29th September that the Habinteg Housing Association, which specialises in housing for people with disabilities, had purchased the finished project for just under £2.3m or roughly £96,000 per unit.
The homes will specifically be rented to elderly people.
Jamesy Hagan, the managing director at Hagan Homes said: “The previous owners of the Scotch Quarter site in Carrickfergus started construction in 2008, but unfortunately had to suspend all development due to the property crash.
“This meant that the site became an eyesore in a prominent location in the town.
“When Hagan Homes acquired the site and started work on it in 2015, the local community reacted positively.
“They recognised that Hagan Homes builds affordable, quality, stylish homes and that we achieve this by appointing award-winning architects, interior designers and craftspeople.
“Habinteg Housing Association expressed an interest in purchasing the completed development because they felt the accommodation was in line with their ethos of providing high-quality housing for local communities.
“Habinteg had recently acquired properties at our Fort Hall development in Dundonald, and during this sale we were impressed with their approach and attention to detail, so it was a natural fit in terms of the acquisition of the Carrick development.”
Ghost estates became a signature of the property crash in the Republic of Ireland, however there were relatively few in Northern Ireland.
At the worst stage of the crash, more than 120,000 homes across the island were isolated and in various states of progress after their developers ran out of money and were therefore unable to finish the projects.
The impact was so serious that ROI appointed their own government minister to deal with the problem.
In 2011, the Housing Executive, estimated that up to 5,000 houses throughout Northern Ireland were unfinished because of devastating impact due to the property market crash.
Four years ago, two county down couple commented about what was branded as Northern Ireland’s worst ghost estate – Quoile Crescent in Downpatrick.
Since then, the houses have been completed however some remain empty.
Habinteg Housing Association manages a total of 2,000 property across more than 100 sites.
Development manager Andrew Corkill said the deal was part of the organisation’s plans to expand its portfolio: “The purchase of the Scotch Quarter development for active elderly accommodation helps us realise our vision through reducing the housing need in this area and strengthening the community by providing home for all.”