Not all happy as properties make €11m

Sat, Jul 7, 2012, 01:00

A TOTAL of €11.3 million was achieved for 78 properties sold at yesterday’s Allsop Space auction in Dublin’s Shelbourne Hotel.

Just four of the properties on offer failed to sell, while the vast majority of those sold went for substantially more than their reserves.

About 2,000 people attended the auction throughout the day.

An estate of 14 unfinished houses, a 700-year-old castle and an 743sq m (8,000sq ft) Georgian building on Dublin’s Merrion Square were three of the most hotly contested lots, with all of them making much more than their reserves.

The housing development at Annagh Banks in Castlemaine, Co Kerry, was offered as a single lot and had a reserve of just €50,000.

The development on 3.03 acres remains unfinished but that did not detract bidders and over a 20-minute period yesterday morning the price inched up from below its reserve to its selling price of €235,000.

The Georgian house at 26 Merrion Square had a reserve of €1 million and, as predicted, it was the star at the auction.

The house, on the Holles Street side, has rear access on to Denzille Lane and planning permission for a 178sq m (1,916sq ft) extension. It sold for €1.42 million.

The castle on the banks of the river Barrow in Athy, Co Kildare, was offered with a reserve not to exceed €50,000.

White’s Castle was built in 1417 by Sir John Talbot, viceroy of Ireland, and the new kings of the castle got it for €195,000. It was bought by a Galway family and it is understood that it will be for personal use and will not be turned into a restaurant or pub as had been thought.

Commercial properties performed strongly at the auction and several in the licensed and leisure sector far exceeded their reserve prices.

The 20-bedroom Drinagh Court Hotel in Wexford sold for €600,000, above a reserve of €230,000. The former owner was at the auction and, after failing to win it back, he addressed the room and spoke of his upset at losing his livelihood.

Dan Finnerty had owned the hotel for 15 years until his company went into receivership last December. He said that if he had been given a chance by the lender, Bank of Scotland, he would have been able to service a loan based on yesterday’s selling price but the bank had refused to entertain the idea.

Other commercial properties which sold included the Stout Bar and No 1 Richmond Hill in Rathmines. It went for €835,000, above its reserve of €600,000. Ruby Finnegan’s pub in Ballyfermot sold for €415,000, €165,000 over the reserve.

The auction’s success was describe as “fantastic news”, by Angela Keegan of Irish Times-owned property website myhome.ie.

“It was a real business-like auction and there was some really strong bidding and I walked out saying the investor is back without a doubt,” she said.

“I’d be cautiously optimistic. I wouldn’t be losing the run of myself.”

Director of auctions at Allsop Space, Robert Hoban, said that a “positive message was sent out today about the property market in general. Once again, it is clear that there is indeed a trading marketplace.”