In scenes not witnessed since the height of Dublin's property boom, hundreds of people have been queuing for days in the hope of buying a home. About 800 people, all of them candidates for affordable housing, have waited outside the Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDAA) building on Sir John Rogerson's Quay, all vying for one of 68 apartments about to go on sale. To qualify for affordable housing, buyers are obliged to have first procured provisional mortgage approval, to have furnished Dublin City Council with the necessary documentation, as well as handing over a €3,000 deposit. For the first time the apartments, which cost between €210,000 and €295,000, are being sold on a first-come, first-served basis. Previously the fate of candidates' was determined by various factors including income and family circumstance.
Due to the collapse of the property sector, many of those recently offered housing have rejected it, claiming the fall in value and decreasing difference between private and affordable housing had made the option less attractive. As a result, Dublin City Council is now left with several hundred houses, most of them brand new, for which it is paying enormous bridging loans. While affordable homes tend to live up to their name, the catch for buyers is that they cannot sell their properties within twenty years without paying a 'claw back' of the percentage discount they received. Given the current sate of affairs, many are unwilling to enter into such long-term commitments. However, DDDA chief executive Paul Maloney said: “We are delighted. People are attracted by the prices and the amazing location which will not be repeated for another few years.”