Prospective house buyers that have handed over deposits in an attempt to secure new houses in Kilkenny City have been left bitterly disappointed after their deposits were recently returned, leaving them in limbo.
The soaring costs of building materials in recent months resulted in a situation where the property developer was not able to stand over the original price quoted for the properties.
As a result, a decision was made to return the deposits before any binding contracts were signed.
The local sales agent handling the affected properties told Kilkenny People that they have been put into a very difficult situation as a result.
“We are merely acting as the messenger between the developer and the buyers and being put in a position where we had to hand the deposits back is incredibly disappointing,” they said.
“The rising costs of building materials has had a huge impact on the housing industry and is unfortunately completely beyond our control.”
Local councillor David Fitzgerald has called for a duty of care to be levied on developers to future-proof the original prices advertised for houses.
“We’ve seen situations like this happen before during the Celtic Tiger years and at the time this led to distrust between developers and clients,” he said.
Councillor Martin Brett said that certain building costs are spiraling out of control.
“The cost of timber in the last three months is up 64% and the cost of steel is up 20% in the same period,” he said.
“If costs keep spiraling and nothing is done we could see more and more lives being put on hold and that’s not fair on anyone.”
The sales agent for the affected Rath Úllord properties told Kilkenny People that they will be engaging in discussions with the developer about returning the properties to market soon.
Their aim, they stated, will be to get the developer to give first refusal to the original prospective buyers.
Ultimately, however, the final decision will be in the hands of the developer.
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