The private treaty bidding on a 27ac farm with a derelict farmhouse at Meelin near Bandon in West Cork has 'gone mad' according to Clonakilty auctioneer, Henry O'Leary.
The compact farm with residential potential and farming possibilities is just 2.5km from Bandon town. In lots of 9ac and 18ac and with a guide of €175,000 it went on the market a number of weeks ago. Bidding on the lots had reached €330,000 at the time of going to press.
Mr O'Leary says all the interest is local coming from hobby farmers and full-time farmers looking for additional land while the site potential on a 9ac parcel with the derelict residence is making for very keen bidding on that particular lot.
This parcel has plenty of road frontage along with the remains of the house, a two storey farmhouse currently roofed with corrugated iron but obviously thatched at one time.
The price for the 9ac stood at €170,000 when I spoke to Mr O Leary on Friday evening but even as we chatted a further bid of €10,000 came in bringing the price to €180,000.
"Planning is nigh impossible to get in this area," explains Mr O'Leary: "The presence of the old house on this parcel is clearly making it very attractive."
The 18ac parcel has been bid to €150,000.
A public road divides the two lots with the 18ac piece further divided by the Bridewell River, which runs through it. The land is all in old pasture, surrounded by fine stands of old trees and fenced by natural hedgerow.
The auctioneer says the ground and fencing are in need of good husbandry and a lot of attention but he adds "farmland like this is very hard to come by in this area.
"The cost of reclamation could be a small price to pay for land in such a convenient location. The land needs work but the location doesn't."
He added the local interest has come hard and fast with little time for outsiders to show cause. In an area accustomed to buyers from overseas, it appears that this time the locals are blowing everyone else out of the bidding.