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Sunday Independent 4th November 2007
 Sunday 4th November 2007 12:00am



 
Buy a house and some developers will pay your mortgage for a year. That’s the startling new giveaway currently being offered to house hunters in an attempt to prolong the property boom.
 
The developers making the offers are hoping to entice people out of what is an increasingly cautious market, as developers opt for “special giveaways”, rather than knocking thousands of euro off the price of a house.
 
Andrews Construction Limited from Mullingar, Co Westmeath are giving the deal to a limited number of people who purchase one of the four and five-bed houses on the estate on the outskirts of Newbridge, Co Kildare.
 
It is the latest in a series of lavish “giveaways” intended to attract buyers out of the current market slowdown. Free cars, boats, golf membership, childcare, sound systems and full flooring and furniture fit-outs are all being used as incentives to spur consumers on into buying.
 
Meanwhile, Raggett Homes are offering a similar mortgage deal for houses in Athy, Co Kildare, which could be worth €13,000. The special offer, which only applies to the first 15 buyers, is a once off proposal and is based on an AIB tracker mortgage for 90 per cent of the house price over 30 years. 
 
As Tommy O’Neill, an accountant with Raggett Homes, explains, “It depends on the house…on a €275,000 house it works out at about €13,000”. Asked why the developers have decided to pay customers’ mortgages for a year rather than knock the same amount of money off the value of the property, O’Neill says: “It’s an incentive. You can’t go knocking the price down. It’s like going to buy a car and you’re offered free sat nav and alloys as a limited promotion….If you drop the price, you’re reflecting what you think is the value of the house, but the house is still worth the same amount – as far as we’re concerned.”
 
“The media have whipped up such a scare mongering frenzy. The buyers are still out there but nobody wants to commit and we just need something to get them back visiting show houses.”
 
As part of the offer, home buyers can choose between having their mortgage paid for a year, free furnishing of their new house, free solicitor fees, appliances, free landscaping and interior design.


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