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Bargain hunt as slump-hit homes go up for auction

DISTRESSED property auctions will become a permanent feature of Irish property sales as buyers are set to grab further bargains in the Shelbourne Hotel tomorrow.

Thousands of investors are anticipated at the second auction of its kind of houses and buildings across the country.

Homes in Killiney, Ailesbury Road in Dublin and Cobh in Cork are attracting the interest of most potential investors, according to Stephen McCarthy, managing director of Allsop Space.

And buyers can expect more distressed auctions of this kind where they can buy directly from the bank or the receiver.

"There is a huge amount of interest this time -- 1,250 people have downloaded the legal packs," Mr McCarthy said.

"Distressed sales will become a fairly good percentage of sales in Ireland in the future.



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"We've already got two more booked for this year in September and November. We're going to see about four to six a year."

A total of 90 lots will be up for grabs tomorrow including residential and commercial property countrywide.

Two semi-detached houses on Killiney Hill Road have a guide price of €200,000 for both, while a Dublin 4 Victorian redbrick home on Ailesbury Road has a reserve of €1.45m.

And a modern three-storey, four-bedroom house in Dublin 15 has a guide price of €97,000.

The auctioneers had not anticipated the level of interest in the first auction where €15m was released by buyers signing contracts on the day.

The sale in the Shelbourne Hotel was jammed with potential investors.

"It was the first time people had access to sales of distressed properties on this level," he explained.

"To be able buy directly from the bank and the receiver -- this is not something that was normal before. It opened it up to a wider audience."

One in five of all of the sales came from overseas, primarily from Britain and 40pc of those bidding on the day came from abroad, showing the remarkable interest in investing in the Irish property market.

"We're cautiously optimistic about this week's auction," Mr McCarthy said. "There will be more overseas buyers this time, but there is still a huge amount of interest from Irish people," he added.

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