Auctioneers’ gathering puts focus on declining rural areas

Strong turnout at annual IPAV conference in Maynooth

Development needed: the big message from the IPAV conference was that measures should be introduced at Government level to incentivise development in rural towns and villages

Development needed: the big message from the IPAV conference was that measures should be introduced at Government level to incentivise development in rural towns and villages

 

The great and the good of the property auctioneering world were out in force last weekend when the annual IPAV conference took place in the salubrious surrounds of Carton House in Maynooth. Maybe it was the choice of venue so close to the capital – on new president Eamon O’Flaherty’s home turf – but the attendance was certainly one of the strongest seen in recent years with more than 250 people at the black tie affair. IPAV has traditionally attracted a strong rural membership but familiar faces from the Pale included Ken MacDonald of Hooke & MacDonald, Robert Hoban of Allsop and David Ashmore and Julian Cotter of Sherry FitzGerald.

And there were some surprise appearances too, not least bankrupt developer Ray Grehan, who’s fateful €171 million purchase of the 1.5 acre UCD vet college site in Ballsbridge at the cusp of the boom proved a deal too far. Lately he has been pursuing business in Nigeria, and indicated he might have a few “developments on the way” though details and locations were not forthcoming. Also spotted in the crowd was another formerly high-profile developer PJ McGrath, who made his name through the boom building apartments on Dublin’s north quays.

The big message from the conference was that while prices are moving in the right direction, the rising tide hasn’t reached many rural areas, and measures should be introduced at Government level to incentivise development and rental of vacant buildings in our declining towns and villages.