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Thursday, 23 June 2011

Cheap Homes For Auction...

Rock-bottom lots top the agenda in Cork...

A Cork agent is hoping to repeat the success of the Allsop/Space auction, putting 65 properties to auction tomorrow in Cork

A GLUT of houses selling at half their original price in Urlingford, a convent in Tipperary and a handful of island properties off the Cork and Kerry coast are hotly tipped to draw bidders to a auction of discounted property in Cork tomorrow.

The 65 properties going under the hammer at the Radisson Little Island at noon have attracted 40,000 hits to the auction website (macestateagents.ie) over the past three weeks. The auction is being run by Noel Forde and Tom McCarthy of Mac Estates and GMAC Properties of Bandon and Castletownbere.

Their initial aim had been to auction Cork properties, but since they announced plans for the auction they have attracted properties from Kildare, Kilkenny, Tipperary, Waterford, Kerry and Clare.

Inundated with offers from owners eager to offload property, auctioneer Noel Forde capped the listings to accommodate a second auction in September.

Inspired by huge interest in the country’s first discounted property auction held by Allsop and Space in Dublin in April, Mr Forde said tomorrow’s sale illustrates that the Irish love affair with property is far from over. “I think this is how property will sell in the future, the public auction will replace the private sale. It’s a better system for everyone, contracts close faster, the vendor gets paid quicker and the whole process is transparent for the purchaser,” he said.

The Dublin auction saw €14.8 million worth of deals struck in just six hours. Forde expects tomorrow’s sale to generate in the region of €10 million. However, his auction differs from the Allsop/Space model in that all the properties are being put up by individual owners rather than by banks and receivers. Allsop maintains that the only way such sales can work is if there is a large proportion of distressed property being off-loaded by financial institutions at rock bottom prices.

The listings for the Cork auction include two detached homes on Valentia Island in Co Kerry which, with 1,000 hits each, have generated plenty of interest. Lot number 17 is a three-bedroom architect-designed dormer bungalow with unobstructed sea views over to the Blasket Islands, and has a maximum reserve of €254,000.

A second four-bedroom property reserved at €230,000 in the village of Knightstown on the island is proving popular among prospective buyers and should sell for well in excess of the reserve, Mr Forde said.

“These are attracting a huge amount of attention from domestic buyers and from abroad. Like the two properties on Bere Island, they are well priced and these are the kind of properties I would expect to sell for well over the reserve,” he added.

Three renovated cottages in Kilkee and Kilrush in Co Clare have captured interest, going under the hammer with a maximum reserve of €80,000 each, down from €200,000 in 2006.

A detached cottage in Lusk, Co Dublin, five minutes from the train station and close to the airport, is reserved at €155,000 and comes with a planning option to demolish the house for a newbuild.

A nine-bedroom former Convent of Mercy on 2.31 acres of zoned land in Borris-in-Ossory, Co Laois, is guiding at €200,000 and has become a prime location thanks to planning approval for a €460 million Las Vegas-style leisure facility in Two-Mile-Borris.

A developer keen to offload homes in what Forde describes as fully-finished, mature estates at Togher Way and Togher Crescent in Urlingford, Co Kilkenny, has added 14 homes to the bill.

The reserves for these homes– a mix including a single-storey two-bed up to a detached five-bed –range from €75,000 to €185.000. The original prices averaged around €345,000. “This is not a ghost estate, the houses are incredible homes, ready to walk into,” Forde said.

The mass auction trend has sparked a new venture by a Dublin firm that aims to bring bidders together to lower survey costs. Rival bidders can pay anything up to €500 for a pre-auction survey of a property. Hammer.ie is offering a shared cost with refunded payments the more a survey is downloaded.

Report by LOUISE ROSENGRAVE - Irish Times

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