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Knock-down Irish property auction drawing foreign buyers

Sale of ‘distressed’ properties is set for 15 April in Dublin – and agent says the homes and commercial spaces on offer will be priced “aggressively”.

Image: Elliott Brown via Flickr

AN IRISH PROPERTY company has said it is expecting huge interest from abroad in an auction here of property with knock-down prices.

Stephen McCarthy’s company, Space Property, is organising an auction of so-called ‘distressed’ properties – those which urgently need to be sold by owner or receivers because of economic pressures – in Dublin on April 15.

McCarthy said that the auction had received a huge amount of coverage in the past few days, both from Irish sources like the Irish Times and the Irish Independent, but also from further afield, in the London Times and on Dubai morning television news at the weekend. There will be between 50 and 80 properties for sale at the auction in the Shelbourne hotel – the number has yet to be finalised as some could yet be sold or withdrawn.

McCarthy told TheJournal.ie this morning that he expected the interest generated to be huge as it was the first time such a firesale would happen in Ireland:

One of the reasons is that we are working with UK auctioneers Allsopps who have around 220,000 clients. We expect a high level of interest among English buyers, many of whom have Irish connections.

The properties are mostly owned by receivers and are located all over the country. Just over 50 per cent are in Dublin while there are some – mostly new and previously unsold properties – in Limerick, Galway, Wexford, Wicklow and Laois. Around 20 per cent of the properties are commercial spaces with tenants in place. About half of the apartments on offer have tenants in place.

Said McCarthy:

The story broke a little earlier than we expected but we hope to have the full catalogue of properties available on March 5. The reserves on the properties will be aggressive – our role is to create interest and to get these properties to sell.

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Asked if he thought the auction would lay down a marker for where Irish property prices actually lie at the moment, he said:

We’ll certainly be finding out where the floor is. The idea was to get a number of people in a room and see at what point they will start to buy.

Space and Allsop plan to hold two more similar auctions later in the year after the 15 April sale. They are looking to hold four such sales every year from then on.

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