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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: May 22, 2012 @ 5:06 pm

    Merlin Property Auction has dramatic finale

    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 .

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