JUST two properties were sold at Merlin Property’s inaugural auction at The Burlington Hotel in Dublin on Tuesday.
A first of its kind in auctioning off property from private sellers, the Merlin auction struggled from the off with more TV cameras in the room than genuine bidders.
With lot 5 – a three bed semi-detached home at 8 Marine Avenue, Sandycove, Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin – withdrawn before the auction, it left just nine lots to go under the hammer.
In the end, just two were sold though with seven underbidders entering into negotiation with Merlin after failing to bid the maximum reserve price.
The major success story of the day was the sale of Lot 9 – The Abbey Tavern in Abbey Street, Cahir, Co Tipperary – for €495,000 to a phone bidder. That exceeded the reserve of €425,000 for the public house and four residential apartments by €70,000.
The only other property sold on the day though was Lot 4 – a two bed terraced house at 4 High Street, Leighlinbridge, Co Carlow, which went for its reserve price of €50,000.
Everything else came up short, with a theme quickly emerging from the moment Lot 1 – a three bedroom top floor maisonette at 15 Church Road, East Wall, Dublin 3 – kick-started the auction. Almost withdrawn at €50,000 after a sluggish start, it eventually reached a bid of €64,000, €1,000 shy of its max reserve price forcing the auctioneer to withdraw the property and enter into discussions with the bidder.
He would have six more discussions to carry out by the end of the day as bids for Lot 2 – a three bedroom detached lodge at Clifden Glen, Clifden, Co Galway – attracted a bid of just €58,000 (reserve €69,000, while Lot 3 – a two bedroom top floor apartment at 8 Carleton Wharf, Youghal, Co Cork – came up €4,000 short of the reserve price of €69,000.
The sale of the house in Carlow finally got things up and running but it was a similar story for Lot 6 – a four bedroom detached bungalow with converted garage in Monemore, Emly, Co Tipperary. It received a top bid of €124,000, again short of the reserve of €130,000 while there were similar stories for Lot 7, a retail unit in the Cookstown Industrial Estate in Tallaght, Dublin 24, which was €130,000 shy of its reserve of €300,000 and Lot 8 a three bedroom detached home at Newtownforbes in Co Longford, which was €10,000 short of its max reserve of €80,000.
The sale of The Abbey Tavern briefly lifted spirits but there was to be no fine ending with Lot 10 – a five bed detached bungalow with outbuildings at Ballyvaughan, Co Clare – falling €40,000 short of its reserve of €250,000.
Speaking after the auction, MyHome.ie managing director Angela Keegan welcomed the arrival of Merlin Property to the auction market but admitted that the day had been “disappointing.”
“Firstly, I think we should welcome Merlin Property to the property auction market. It’s good to see an alternative method of sale come to the market as the majority of stock in other auctions this year has been sourced from banks.
“It was disappointing to see only two lots go under the hammer on the day,” Angela admitted.
“It lacked energy and when the first lot struggled the auctioneer found it difficult to re-energise the room.
“That’s not unexpected for a first auction with a small number of lots on offer though. In one sense it was disappointing that more of the properties didn’t sell as prices were very competitive. The max reserve for the property in East Wall of €69,000 compares very well with the general asking price of €120,000 in the area.
“With a number of properties under negotiation though I’d expect to hear more good news from Merlin about sales as the week progresses,” said Angela.
Merlin Property’s next auction is on March 20th 2012.