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  • Merlin Property Auction has dramatic finale

    May 22, 2012 @ 5:06 pm | by Edel Morgan

    The house at the centre of dramatic events at the Merlin Auction

    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 .

  • What property says it all for you?

    May 17, 2012 @ 7:49 am | by Edel Morgan


    Walford - sums up the state of the market

    If you were to nominate a property that sums up where we are now, what would it be? In today’s paper (click here to read) I’ve written about the ten properties that say it all about the state of the market but do you agree with them? Or would you add a few of your own to the mix?

    My top ten are 1. Walford on Shrewsbury Road – sold in 2005 for €58 million, has now been withdrawn from the market, presumably because it can’t get the €15 million asking price.

    2.Humewood Estate  in Kiltegan, Co Wicklow – The “Walford” of the country house market, bought by developer John Lally in the boom for €25 million with a view to turning it into a golf and leisure resort. Now  in the hands of Nama and on the market for €8 million.

    3. The Veterinary College site in Ballsbridge, Dublin 4 – Property developer Ray Grehan paid a humongous €171.5 million for the two acre site in 2005 – it’s now worth about €20 million -  an 88 per cent plummet.

    4. Treasury Building, Lower Grand Canal street, Dublin 2 – one of the first big projects by Treasury Holdings in the early 1990s – little did they know its future tenant would be Nama with whom they are now involved in a legal battle .

    5. Woodlands Estate in Ballyjamesduff in Co Cavan – an unfinished  part of an estate sold to a builder from Northern Ireland at the last Allsop Space auction for over three times its reserve of €40,000. Will we see more unfinished estates being sold to third parties?

    6. Sandhouse Hotel in Donegal – The hotel sold for €650,000 to its manager at an Allsop Space auction in March. It had been on the market for two years and at one point was asking €4.5 million.

    7. Priory Hall in Donaghmede, Dublin 13 – The residents were evacuated in October  from the development  built by Thomas McFeely back  due to fire safety concerns. They have still not reached a resolution with the banks – but could this be the tip of the iceberg due to the  inadequate enforcement of the building regulations?

    8. Loughmore Square, Killeen Castle, Co Meath – One of the developments in the Nama deferred payment initiative, which protects buyers from negative equity for a five year period.  This luxury scheme  on a golf course was launched in 2008 by Joe Reilly of Castlethorn construction (the company behind Dundrum town centre)when three-beds were priced from €1.2 million. They are prcied at now around €270,000.

    9. The Elysian Tower in Cork City. One of the tallest residential buildings in the country, the Elysian tower was launched by developer Michael O’Flynn  in 2008 just as the market was going into free fall. Now dubbed “The Idle Tower” by locals, less than a quarter of the 211 apartments are occupied.

    10. St Mathias Wood, Killiney, Co Dublin.  Last month Brendan and Asta Kelly were shown being evicted from their luxury house in Killiney in a video ttaken by their  neighbour. Could this be the start of the publicised eviction?



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