Carol Tallon casts her eye over the latest Allsop Space auction catalogue
-Originally published in the Sunday Business Post, 9 September 2012
UK auction house Allsop Space have announced details of the 127 properties going under the hammer at their eighth major auction, taking place on the 3 October. After a stellar start in 2011, there was some criticism of the quality of properties offered at previous auction. However, the most recent offering is just what buyers and investors have been waiting for.
The properties are located nationwide. As always, the majority of lots are located in Dublin. Unlike previous auctions Munster and in particular, Cork features heavily in this most recent catalogue.
There are 43 houses on offer with reserve prices starting as low as €15,000 for two derelict cottages in County Wicklow. These particular properties were offered at a previous auction and failed to sale when enforcement notices from the local authority were disclosed just moments before the lot was offered. Any intending bidders here, as with any lot, should have their solicitor check the title thoroughly.
There is likely to be strong interest in the three bedroom end of terrace house in Ranelagh from both home buyers and investors. The stated maximum reserve price of €190,000 marks this one out as a bargain to watch for.
Other potential family homes include a genuinely stunning five bedroom detached house on a .75 acre site outside Ardee, County Louth, asking €100,000 or perhaps the four bedroom semi-detached house in Lucan, asking €165,000.
Cash-strapped investors, who cannot raise significant funds but who have been waiting at the sidelines of the market for the past few years will find more opportunities in the upcoming auction then ever offered publically in Ireland before.
Rentable apartments start at €25,000 in Balbriggan, Navan and Cork but investors will need to check out not only the likely rental income but, more importantly, the ability to find any tenants in rural locations. This is relevant to properties that are offered with sitting tenants as many times, the tenancy will not be as described. This is a classic case of Caveat Emptor or buyer beware; buyers must do their research in advance.
The aim is always to buy BMV, or below market value. Intending bidders should be aware of the difference between a cheap property and a cheap price. The best way to tell the difference is by calculating the yield, or return on investment. With a cheap property, if you cannot clear 12 to 15 per cent per year, then it is likely not enough to compensate for zero capital appreciation. This is when a cheap property becomes a bad buy.
The commercial line-up is much stronger than usual, with many interesting properties and surprisingly low reserve prices.
Early interest from overseas enquirers is firmly focused on the mid terrace, Georgian office building at 34 Fitzwilliam Place and the mews building to the rear, with an address at 34 Leeson Close. Offered as one lot, with a stated maximum reserve of €850,000, these building have solid earning potential for investors with access to the estimated €1.1 – €1.2 million that is likely to secure them.
The cafe/restaurant located at Beacon Court in Sandyford has a modest reserve price of €100,000. A similar unit in Oranmore in Galway is offered at €75,000. At those levels small business owners might do well to check what pension reserves they have access to, as buying might be a better option than continuing to rent.
It is also noticeable that the public houses on offer in the upcoming auction in Cork, Kilkenny, Dublin 1 and Dublin 8 and all have licences attached. Banks and Receivers appear to have upped their game when it comes to deal with these premises.
Finally, there are a number of pre-63, multi-unit houses that look good on paper. Interested buyers should check out the individual leases in place and request proof of income prior to the auction. Most importantly, they should acquaint themselves with the new regulations affecting these properties from February 2013 to ensure compliance.
Carol Tallon is author of the Irish Property Buyers’ Handbook annuals 2011-2013 and Managing Director of Buyers Broker Ltd. Tel: +353 1 4428 035 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org