'Bargains' raise €14.5m in bumper property auction
Bids boosted by speculators from overseas
ALL but two of the 82 properties on offer at Ireland's first-ever bumper auction of distressed properties sold yesterday, raking in over €14.5m for six receivers and their bank clients.
One pub, which sold for €3m in 2005, was snapped up for €400,000 yesterday.
Nonetheless, the sales exceeded expectations by about €4m.
The agents had expected to make €10.6m when the catalogue -- which included two properties later withdrawn -- was originally drawn up.
Yesterday's auction was so successful they are planning another in July with double the number of properties.
In contrast, the last bumper property auction here in April of last year resulted in only six of the 70 properties being sold under the hammer.
But that Real Estate Alliance auction did not include any apartments, which dominated yesterday's auction, with more family houses being offered by their owners last year.
A significant number of the properties being sold yesterday have tenants and were generating rental incomes.
The level of sales was welcomed by rival agents as a sign that there are buyers willing to buy Irish properties -- provided the price is right.
Such was the interest in the sale that crowds spilled out of the venue at the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin and on to the street.
Proceedings had to be suspended for several minutes when non-bidders were asked to leave the main auction room which had seating for 350, with standing room for an additional 500.
The lots, ranging from a Ballsbridge mews to a collection of cut-price flats in Portlaoise, were offered to the highest bidders. The majority of properties were sold by receivers and include homes in Dublin, Wicklow and Galway as well as small commercial buildings and shops. Many of the properties sold for well over their guide prices.
The top price paid was €560,000, or more than double its guide, for a block of properties known as Tuskar House, John's Gate, Wexford.
The cheapest property to sell was 36 Grange Heights, Mullingar, Co Westmeath, a three-bedroom semi which fetched €30,000 or €7,500 over its guide price.
Stephen McCarthy of auctioneers Allsop Space was happy that the Rascal's Pub in Arklow, Co Wicklow, sold for €400,000 or €140,000 more than its guide price.
The same property had sold for €3m in 2005, and Bank of Scotland (Ireland) was offering it at €1.2m last autumn, he said.
On the other hand he expressed disappointment that a Dublin 4 mews -- 42 Raglan Lane, Ballsbridge -- failed to achieve its €600,000 guide.
The four-bedroom mews, just around the corner from the homes owned by prominent businessmen Michael O'Leary and Denis O'Brien, sold for €550,000 yesterday.
In Rathgar, Dublin 6, part of a Boylesports bookmakers shop sold for €350,000 or €50,000 over its guide price.
It was bought by an investor as it is currently generating a rent of €30,000 and has further potential from letting out an upper floor for offices.
Near Dublin Castle, a penthouse apartment that sold for around €1.3m at the peak of the market was snapped up for €345,000.
The flat at 44 Chancery Court, Bride St, Dublin 8, had been guiding at €230,000.
A number of two-bedroom apartments also in Chancery Court, which sold at the peak for around €300,000, were bought at auction yesterday for as little as €159,000 which was €1,000 less than Allsop's guide.
Nearby, a studio apartment in Temple Bar sold for €126,000 or 58pc over its guide price.
Mr McCarthy said between 15pc and 25pc of the buyers were from overseas, and many bidders used the phone or the internet.
In the respectable Dublin 14 suburb, four houses sold for prices close to current local going prices in the €400,000 to €500,000 range.