Online property auctions 'a Dublin phenomenon'
ONLINE PROPERTY auctions will play a central role in the property market in the coming years, according to Allsop's auctioneers. But estate agents in Kerry are yet to be convinced, saying what works for Dublin doesn't always apply to the rest of the country.
Allsop Space planned to hold what it claimed was the world's first online property auction last Wednesday when 22 lots, including a four bedroom semi in Dublin with a reserve price of €460,000 along with a three bedroom duplex apartment in Galway with a reserve price of €180,000, were to be put up for sale. However, the company was forced to postpone the auction because their computer system could not cope with the unexpectedly high level of interest in the first lot.
"Everything was going smoothly, but as lot one came to a close, activity suddenly shot up and we had bids arriving from all directions. We started to get word in from some bidders that they couldn't get their bids in," said Robert Hoban, Allsop's director of auctions,
Despite Allsop's predictions about the future of online auctions, auctioneer Gary O'Driscoll who is based in Ivy Terrace, Tralee, believes online auctions are "very much a Dublin phenomenon" and are unlikely to play a major part in property sales in Kerry.
While he acknowledged that the internet was the resource "most people use for property information", Mr O'Driscoll said he thought Allsop's online auction might be a 'novelty' and might appeal to big retail or commercial interests but felt that interest in online auctions among residential buyers "will be lost and peter off over time".
He added that online auctions may "take away from the personal aspect of the market that people like" such as speaking with an agent in person and being shown around prospective homes.
However, Mr O'Driscoll did concede that online auctions would be attractive for sales of distressed properties where anonymity might be more desirable than the personal touch.
Meanwhile, Mr O'Driscoll said the enormous property price increase recorded in Dublin this year has all the hallmarks of "a bubble that may well burst again". He contrasted the skyrocketing Dublin prices with the more sustainable "slow and steady" rise in property values experienced in Kerry.
Recent figures released by the Real Estate Alliance in Killarney indicate a divide between the Dublin market and the property market in more rural areas such as Kerry. Dublin has seen an 11.76 per cent rise in the price of a three bed semi since the beginning of the year, whereas Kerry has seen a much more modest 3.6 per cent rise in the same period of time.