Business Irish

Friday 23 March 2018

Allsop to auction off record 224 properties in huge sale

Under the hammer: Park House
Under the hammer: Park House
Peter Flanagan

Peter Flanagan

A record 224 properties will go under the hammer at the next Allsop Space auction in two weeks' time, possibly forcing the auction into two days.

The number of properties listed for the auction on May 2 is up a fifth on Allsop's previous record, last February. The reserve total is in the region of €37m.

"The level of interest in the sale of properties throughout Ireland is a further indication of the continued confidence in the property sector and an improving economy generally," said Allsop's director of auctions, Robert Hoban.

"We are rapidly reaching the stage when we will need to hold a two-day auction, such is the level of interest. One auction would concentrate on residential and the other for commercial properties and this is likely to happen in our July auction," he added.

Allsop Space auctions have been the subject of protests on some occasions but Mr Hoban emphasised that not all the commercial properties were distressed sales.

"It is important to point out that while it is correct that a number of the properties for auction are at the request of receivers and banks, an ever increasing number of people who are not in a distressed property situation are using our auctions model.

"They simply want to obtain the best possible price in an open, transparent, accountable and swift," he claimed.

The public auction format tends to attract a number of overseas investors and May's auction will likely be no different. However, Mr Hoban added that the fact that it is an open auction means it will be something of a "fair fight" between foreign and domestic players.

Auction has not commonly been used in the commercial investment market in Ireland but after an office block was sold by Allsop for €3.25m in February that perception is now changing.

"Traditionally, a tender has been the method favoured by agents; however, discomfort is often expressed over the concealed nature of the process, and the lack of visibility. Commercial property buyers repeatedly tell us they are prepared to go to their maximum price if they have access to a fair system of bidding," Mr Hoban claimed.

Among the highlights at next month's auction are Park House and Kirwan House on the North Circular Road in Dublin, which has a guide price of €5.5m to €6m.

The largest property to be offered at an Allsop Space auction, the firm say it will appeal to international investors as well as domestic commercial landlords.

Situated next to the new DIT campus site at Grangegorman, the property provides future potential for student accommodation, subject to planning. In the meantime, government-backed tenants are providing 80pc of the €740,000 per annum rent roll, including Ireland's largest employer, the HSE. In total, there are nine tenancies and four telecoms licences.

Also going under the hammer will be an apartment scheme at 32-33 Fitzgibbon Street, which has a reserve range of between €1.1m and €1.2m. The block contains 12 apartments (three one-beds, six two-beds, and three three-beds as well as a ground-floor retail unit in Dublin city centre.

About 10 of the apartments are let producing a rent roll of €113,220 per annum. Located close to the Mater and Temple Street hospitals and Croke Park. Total size is 9,881 sq ft, to include the vacant retail unit at 2,471 sq ft.

Mr Hoban revealed that since their auction began three years ago the number of our Irish buyers has increased to 94pc, up 14pc since 2011.

"We are delighted with the level of interest internationally when people from some 150 countries log on to our website to assess the properties on offer. Many of these are Irish people living abroad and have plans to return home or want to invest in an Irish property. All the full title and legal documents can be viewed online, which has proved to be very popular with both vendors and potential purchasers. They love its transparency," he said.

He reaffirmed Allsop Space guarantees that it would not sell any repossessed family homes or any property that is subject to a legal dispute.

Sunday Indo Business

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