Merlin Property Auction has dramatic finale
Merlin’s second property auction was a slow enough affair today with only five of the 20 properties selling under the hammer but things took a dramatic turn before the final lot when Orla Mulvey stood up and explained to the crowd that she was trying to buy back the five-bed detached house in Templanstown , Castlepollard, Co Meath for her brother . The house, which was being sold by a financial institution , had an AMV of €70,000 and was built on her father’s land. Obviously emotional, she said the house, which is not fully finished, has no entrance and no water.
The house was one of Merlin’s star properties – although that wouldn’t be difficult given the line-up – and Orla, who attended the auction with her husband Mark had competition from a bidder at the back of the hall who helped push the price up to €76,000. Merlin say that this was the only sale by a bank and that all the other properties are being sold by private individuals.Properties ranged in price from €20,000 to €250,000 and were based in Dublin, Cork, Galway, Carlow, Cavan, Kildare, Mayo, Laois, Wexford, Westmeath and Longford – however instead of setting reserves, as is usual in the Allsop Space auctions, they set AMV’s which weren’t necessarily reflective of the price a vendor was willing to accept.
Given the lack of sales under the hammer, it was probably just as well someone was trying to buy back one of the properties. The very first lot , a one bed apartment in Ballyconnell , Co Cavan, failed to reach it’s €20,000 AMV – and the highest bid it attracted was €13,500.However Merlin MD David Byrne had a more upbeat spin on events, saying it was “a good improvement” on their first property auction last November where only two properties sold under the hammer .That auction was featured on RTE’s The Auction House, as part of the Reality Bites documentary series . While entertaining, the programme made the Merlin team look a tad inexperienced.”It was good profile, but the problem was we’d no control over the editing, “ said Byrne after today’s auction.
This time around there were no cameras and the auction was held in association with Murphy Mullan auctioneers because they felt they needed the backing of an experienced auction house. Byrne dismisses any talk about their property auctions being flops as “rubbish. If you go to any auctions around the country, you will find many of the properties are sold after auction.” Merlin says around 13 properties under negotiation following today’s auction.
Merlin might have been a little bit of of a rose tinted view of things after the auction because the press release issued to the media after the event says there was “standing room only”. While the turnout was good compared to their last auction, and some people chose to stand around the room, there were more than a few of empty seats. As for their overspill auction room next door, that might have been a bit optimistic.
The next Merlin auction is on July 25th .