THE first 13 houses at a new £7m estate in Barrow have been snapped up by home-buyers.

Gleeson Homes is constructing 59 two, three and four bedroom homes on the site of the former Arthur Street.

Bosses at Gleeson have revealed almost a third have already been bought.

Sales manager Adrian Hilton said although just three houses have been finished 13 have been sold.

"It's been going great guns," he said.

"We have three houses already occupied; we've sold 13 and three have been completed.

"Some buyers have travelled to our other finished sites in Longtown, St Helens and Northumberland to view our properties there so that they can see what the houses will look like and the quality of the finish and interior."

Sutherland Court will include 23 two-bedroomed properties starting at £95,995; 15 three-bedroom semi-detached homes starting from around £105,000; 17 three-bedroom detached houses; and three four-bedroom properties.

All of the properties are eligible for a 20 per cent Help to Buy loan, interest free for five years, meaning buyers only need a five per cent deposit and a 75 per cent mortgage.

Former Barrow Mayor Bill McEwan, who attended the ground-breaking ceremony, said: "The affordable homes will be a big help for young people and first-time buyers in the area to get on the property ladder, and with all those houses that we were there before going it will be something that brings the community back around there."

In light of demand from prospective buyers the housebuilder is also looking to recruit more tradespeople to speed up completion of the site with bricklayers and joiners in demand.

Andy Patmore, area manager at Gleeson Homes, said: “Not only are we proud to be able to provide opportunity for local people to get out of the rent trap and own their own home, we are dedicated to making a difference in the community by providing local jobs for local people, apprenticeship schemes and local sports team sponsorship to name but a few.”