Going and going but not gone as buyers hold off
Going, going . . . but not gone to the bottom just yet.
Despite several hundred people packing out Ireland's biggest ever property auction yesterday, just one out of every 10 listed properties sold under the hammer, indicating that house prices have not reached rock bottom yet.
A further five were sold after the auction, while five sold before it began.
However, the host auctioneers were putting a brave face on things afterwards.
They insisted that they were happy with the sales figures and were already planning another auction in September.
"We know that a number of buyers were in the very full auction room who didn't bid but they have visited the properties," said auction manager Philip Farrell.
The auction will also be a huge disappointment to the Government because all of the development land that was listed failed to sell under the hammer. If any had been sold, it would have provided guidance to NAMA on the development land loans that it acquired from the banks.
Eimer O'Keeffe, chief executive of the organisers Real Estate Alliance (REA), said they were satisfied with yesterday's results.
"We are hopeful that the ongoing negotiations with bidders on some of the other properties will bring total sales to 25 sales within another 10 days," she said.
The 16 sales grossed about €3.9m. Among the successful sellers were the Sisters of Mercy who sold a bungalow at Rathdrum, Co Wicklow, for €227,000 -- €18,000 below its AMV (advised minimum value).
One of the successful buyers of the day was Una Beirne, who travelled from Co Leitrim to buy a four-bedroom detached house on its own grounds with a garage. After the bidding opened at €110,000, she put in the winning bid of €145,000 to a warm round of applause.
The house, Gortinty, in Drumsna, Co Leitrim, had been on the market two years ago for €255,000 and she bought it yesterday for €15,000 less than the AMV.
Mill House, Mill Road, Gowran, Co Kilkenny, was the only property to achieve its AMV under the hammer. The four-bedroom period house on 12 acres sold for €500,000.