Farm Ireland

Monday 23 April 2018

Bidder 'outbids himself' in surprising land auction

Jim O'Brien

Jim O'Brien

A land auction took a surprising turn at the Ardboyne Hotel in Navan on Tuesday when a bidder substantially outbid himself.

A 59ac holding at Dowth, near Drogheda, was sold in two lots. Lot one, comprising 44ac, made €380,000 or €8,600/ac, while lot two, consisting of 15ac, made €225,000 or €15,000/ac.

Auctioneer Raymond Potterton said there was no difference in quality, entitlements or potential between the two lots.

So, why was the price per acre for one piece nearly double that paid for the other? Maybe the spirits wandering in the Neolithic Dowth tomb danced around the auction room.

Mr Potterton explained how he opened the bidding for lot two at €100,000. In bids of €5,000, two contenders took the price to €150,000. Mr Potterton then turned his attention to the 44ac lot and opened it at €300,000. Three bidders followed one another, with bids of €10,000, until it reached €330,000.

Two bids of €5,000 brought the amount to €340,000, when one bidder bowed out and the remaining two took the price to €370,000. Mr Potterton then looked for bids for the entire.

"With €520,000 on offer, I put the entire to the auction and got one bid bringing it to €525,000. I consulted the vendor, Peter O'Reilly, a retired farmer, and he suggested that I return to auction with the individual lots."

When the 15ac piece went back on the market, the customer who had bid €150,000 surprised everyone when he trumped his previous offer with a bid of €225,000. The customer, a Drogheda-based solicitor acting for a mystery client, was intent on buying and the lot was knocked down to him.

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This put paid to any chances of selling the entire, so Mr Potterton returned to the sale of the 44ac lot, which went on the market at €370,000 and was sold to a local farmer for €380,000.

Mr Potterton said everybody was satisfied and surprised with the auction. "The man bidding on the 15ac surprised us all," he said. "He knew what he wanted and he knew how to get it."

Irish Independent