"Homes From hell" -Uk TV program on irish Ghost Estates etc



I usually frequent housepricecrash.co.uk but keep an eye on the 'pin. You guys are about 6 months ahead of us :slight_smile: This may be of interest…

Homes From Hell - ITV UK program - showed a piece on a Belfast couple who paid £175k for a newbuild on a soon-to-be ghost estate. Sad, but I expect they’ll bring us all down too. the show discusses Ireland and multiple overbuilding and ghost estates “one of around 621 in existence in Ireland(!)”.

Its on STV at:


Press release:

"Seadna and Mairead Billings tell the series how they took out a 100 per cent mortgage of £175,000 to buy their dream three-bedroom new-build home near Belfast.
The couple moved in in 2008 and soon discovered the surrounding houses were all empty. The estate was meant to have 70 houses on it, but work had stopped due to the property crash, many homes were not finished and only a small amount had been sold.
The estate became a ‘ghost-estate’, one of around 621 in existence in Ireland. Seadna and Mairead tell the programme how they were living alone in their street and the derelict houses around them were soon under-siege from vandals and rodents.
As he peers through the windows on the abandoned estate, Seadna says: “Fireplaces are ripped off and skirting boards taken up and doors taken off and you can just see the vandalism and theft that’s gone on around the place…it just gradually got worse and worked it’s way down closer and closer to us…we were worried, if we were going to be sitting in the living room, if there was going to be a brick come through the window.”
Eventually the couple decided to leave the property and move into a rented house. Now, after being left paying rent and a mortgage, they have decided to declare themselves bankrupt and have the house re-possessed. In emotional scenes Seadna and Mairead show Homes From Hell the home they had hoped to raise a family in which is now derelict and boarded up. "

  • Keep the faith. I was based in Dublin for 6 months in 1999 (pre-Euro and 2% IR). I thought it was a bubble then :frowning:


I saw that show. Talk about bleak. neighbouring houses had been smashed up and looted.


Is it the one broadcast on the 8th?

Was it a collection of separate stories?

I can grab the NI bit, if so.


Looks like they did a bit on Dubai in the first episode as well - might try and grab that later for the Dubai thread.


How long does bankruptcy hang over you in the UK…… 2 years? They made the right decision.


According to the Citizens Advice Bureau for Northern Ireland:
citizensadvice.co.uk/Publica … ct-Sheets/
it can be less than a year:
citizensadvice.co.uk/Documen … ruptcy.pdf - PDF


So sad that video, it looked like a nice development that couple bought a house in. Chilling how there was sold signs all around their house yet nobody moved in…
At least they can move on now, in the south I think they really would be in a worse predicament.


“Millbrook by the Canal” in Coalisland, Co Tyrone appeared to be the name of the development. I wonder if it was built by a “Mexican” developer; couldn’t find anything on Google.


Being honest, I would file bankruptcy if I were in their position, you would be foolish not to if the law allows it.

I did actually feel genuinely sorry for these people until she started saying “its not our fault, we’ve done nothing wrong”. Of course its your fault, you spent 175k on a terrace house 35 miles from belfast are you insane? Where was the due dillegence? I have no problem if people file for bankruptcy but at least have the decency to admit that its your fault. XX


That’s harsh. Their predicament had nothing to do with whether they could afford it or not - they clearly could. The shit hit the fan just after they bought, houses went unsold and the estate to rack and ruin. Seemed like a decent couple just trying to buy a modest family home.


Ya OK that was harsh, like I said I did feel for them, they could not have bought at a worse time. I just wish more people had stopped and blocked out all the noise and just thought about it for a moment, a 100% mortgage, a terraced house, 35 miles away and 175K.

Its not their fault that nobody moved into the estate, its not their fault that the developer didnt finish the estate but maybe that should have been part of their contract with the developer. I guess there are too many niave people in this country with an abundance of greedy to take advantage of them.

I’m just sick of everyone passing the buck. If its not their fault its the banks fault for giving them the mortgage, if its not the banks fault its the govs fault for having no control of the banks. For once I’d like to see someone say it was their fault, that they, like so many others got caught up in the tsunami of optimism that helped Ireland create one of the biggest bubbles in history. Probably too much to ask…


You would have a valid point if we were talking about another stupid/greedy couple with a silly mortgate they couldn’t afford, and there’ve been plenty… you just picked the wrong example here I think.


Maybe they were not greedy but given the fundamentals its hard to argue that they were not stupid. You mention that they could afford it but I beg to differ, I think you can only truly afford something if you can afford to lose it or more to the point stomach the loss.

Had they bought the house for 90K (impossible at the time I know) they may not be filing for bankruptcy as the loss would be easier to take. In this context they could have afforded the loss. Moreover had the house been fairly priced (Mr. Markets fault) more would have sold and the estate may have been finished removing the ghost estate problem in the first place. As they are part of the herd that drove up prices, they are to blame for ghost estates and as such are responsble. I agree that this is extremely harsh and a bit of stretch but…

Im not sure how many predicted the ghost estate problem so I’ll forgive them that, but the fact still remains they bought an overly priced house in an unfinished estate 35 miles from belfast at the peak of the market while the subprime crisis was raging. To me that is stupid and as I’m sure they predicted their house doubling in value a tad greedy too…

Just my $0.02 Maybe we’ll just have to agree to disagree on this one, today was my first post, I don’t want to go making any enemies already :slight_smile:


I wonder what the area is like generally, did they know what the community they were moving into were like?


I don’t know about this particular instance, but I’m certainly aware of a case where a development hadn’t sold any units and then sale agreed and sold stickers appeared in the windows of about a third of the units overnight which helped to get the market moving for the remainder…


That was common practice. There is a development of brand new apartments in Courtown in Wex. and about 2 or 3 years ago, suddenly large sold stickers started appearing in the windows. I remember telling my kids that there was no chance and it was just a ruse to get some suckers interested. Sure enough those apartments are still sitting there empty and no doubt going or gone into NAMA… What always got me was how those people such as the estate agents could do their job and not have a moral conscience as to whether they effectively were stealing people’s money and possible futures by selling them a pup. There is lots of blame to go around, and the VI s will say they were only doing their job but they cannot use that excuse. Sure they were being encouraged by those in positions of power/ responsibility… but the moral of they story is, if you elect (and do not expect any better) corrupt politicians it, will permeate down through society, and you end up wil a grubby, dishonest, unenlightened,society, incapable of creating genuine wealth for the betterment of all.
Simple… We deserve better. :nin


That’s a good point, and I’m sure one that’s been made many times here before. How many people just kept looking further and further out of their chosen urban centres and picked something in their ‘budget’ and then suddenly realised the place had nothing going for it. I personally know one couple, with young kids, who moved out to Clonee from Ringsend, where all their families and friends still live…they couldn’t settle there and are now back living with her mother with their Meath place rented out. Sometimes I think people put more thought and research into buying cars


Do you think? Because I doubt it very much. £90k is still a lot of debt and to have that debt wiped out in exchange for a year or two of bankruptcy and a house you can’t stand the sight of is very tempting.


Did they rent In Stella Gardens first? I might know the lovely redhead your talking about. :wink:


thx for uploading; did not realise the stv site was restricted.
The Dubai ep is worth a look, lots of mad people who bought off-plan in the desert, including a guest-house proprietor from Scotland who reserved a flat in the proposed DubaiLand SnowDome:

realestate.theemiratesnetwork.co … owdome.php

what could possibly go wrong? :slight_smile: