Some bidders buying property ‘to maintain pensions’

A hotel, a cinema, a closed pub, a main street bank and the headquarters of a well-known bookmakers on sale

 The Allsop auction of properties at the RDS Ballsbridge in Dublin, today. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

The Allsop auction of properties at the RDS Ballsbridge in Dublin, today. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Tue, Feb 25, 2014, 18:49

A hotel, a cinema, a closed pub, a main street bank and the headquarters of a well-known bookmakers were all on offer at a property auction in Dublin today along with a selection of residential property.

More than 190 properties were for sale with a mixture of commercial and residential, though Dublin residences were notably few.

Not all of the seats in the RDS concert hall in Ballsbridge were full, but there were a large number of people standing at the back of the hall and along the side-walls. The potential purchasers were casually dressed, mainly jeans and jumpers with suits in short supply; one man who bought a substantial property still had farm muck on his shoes.

A three-storey Georgian office block, Waterpark House on Church Road, Carrigaline, Co Cork was withdrawn from sale, but the sole bidder, Michael Kidney from Cork wasn’t giving up.

The retired butcher had bid €60,000 below the reserve of €430,000. It would make a fantastic crèche or a medical centre he said afterwards as he prepared for behind the scenes negotiation.

A veteran of auctions since the age of 10 with “sheds full of brown furniture”, Mr Kidney said he was “trying to maintain” his pension.

“People are fed up having money and getting 1.25 per cent from the bank,” he said. “That’s why they are here,” echoing a point made by other attendees.

The majority of the lots on offer up to mid-afternoon were sold with some going for well beyond their reserve price.

The Crazy Crab restaurant in Kilmore Quay had a reserve of €85,000 and sold for €185,000, and a three bedroomed semi-detached bungalow on Blackhorse Avenue in Dublin had a reserve of €220,000 but fetched €357,500.

But a three bedroomed semi-detached home on Delford Drive in Rochestown, Cork only reached its reserve of €170,000. And a dormer bungalow in Raheny, Dublin was withdrawn from auction having attracted no bids.

The bidders on almost every lot were coy and slow to start and the auctioneers had to coax and cajole them into action, though once they got started they were tenacious.

The headquarters of Boylesports in Dundalk, Co Louth had a reserve of €1.4 million but sold for €1.87 million.

But the Paddy Power office on Quay Street in New Ross was withdrawn having failed to reach its reserve.

An old cinema on Clancy Street, Charleville, Co Cork attracted an offer of only €65,000 and was also withdrawn from the auction.

The Castle Park Hotel in Mitchelstown was sold for its reserve of €150,000 its buyer hugging those seated either side of him.

Speaking afterwards, the purchaser who did not want to be named, said he was buying the property for a group of locals. It had been vacant for 10 years, he said and was quite an important building in the town. It would not be used for a hotel “unfortunately”, he said, though they were not yet sure what they would use it for.

The Ulster Bank on Main Street Loughrea, Co Galway sold for €810,000 with a reserve of €650,00. The buyer, who did not wish to be named, said he was self-employed and wanted it for a pension. The biggest thing he’d bought before was a car on eBay, he said.