Boom, bust and Ballybofey

Classic boom-‘n-bust story by the excellent Lisa O’Carroll in the Guardian.

It was the story of Ireland’s boom and bust in a nutshell: a newly built apartment block near the windswept coast of far-flung Donegal, once valued at €9.5m, was selling for €500,000 (£425,000).

But now, it seems, it’s not even worth that. Navenny Place, a 47-apartment complex, was withdrawn from auction this week after just one token bid of €5,000 – and that was after the auctioneer reduced the starting price to €300,000, or €6,383 per flat.

The apartments are situated on the edge of Ballybofey, a pretty town in the heart of Donegal, and are described by the estate agent as “architecturally superior”, akin “to the type of property found in London’s Docklands”.

Hmmm… Only a couple of things wrong with the story. Firstly, Ballybofey is quite a long way from the coast. And only an estate agent would describe Ballybofey as “pretty”. I’ve always thought it was a pretty drab little place whose main claim to fame was that it housed Donegal’s biggest department store.