THERE were over 120 people eagerly awaiting what was to come from the top table at the Woodlands House Hotel recently but it wasn’t for a wedding.
They were there for one of the most unique auctions in recent times with four farms from across the county going under the hammer. Extra staffing and manning of the car park was even put in place by the hotel.
The four farms, totalling 332 acres,were for sale by on the instructions of the representatives of the late Eamonn Garrett.
Tom Crosse, of GVM Auctioneers, said Lot 1 - Ferrybridge, Kildimo, circa 158 acres with extensive road and river frontage, silage slab, cubicle house and ancillary sheds opened at €700,000. “It was bid into €1,070,000 which was below the figure we were going to put it on the market at. We withdrew that particular lot and negotiated with the highest bidder. A deal was concluded immediately after the auction,” said Mr Crosse.
While Mr Crosse remained tight lipped on the eventual sale price local sources believe the figure to be in the region of €1.25m.
Lot 4, Ballinamona, Hospital - superb circa 56 acre roadside holding with a derelict residence, yard and cattle pen opened at €350,000.
“It went on the market at €450k and was sold under the hammer for €475,000. Both buyers were local farmers. There was talk that Kerry or Cork farmers might continue a trend of buying Limerick land but the local men held sway.
Lot 2 was Clorane, Kildimo/Adare - circa 41 acre holding situated in the much sought after location. On the excellent quality lands there is a holding pen and cattle crush.
“There were two offers on that - €250k and €260k. This has moved a lot since the auction.
Lot 3 was an outstanding circa 77 acre Herbertstown holding with frontage to Limerick/Hospital road and a yard and cattle crush.
“It was making €460k, was withdrawn and again is under active negotiation,” said Mr Crosse.
The auctioneers are hopeful of selling the other two lots by private treaty within the next week to ten days.
“Based on the figures achieved to date we would be hopeful our overall guide figure of €3m would be achieved. Overall we are pleased with the result. Obviously we would have preferred if all four farms had sold under the hammer,” said the GVM man.
“We did here from people that they were having difficult getting loans approved ahead of the auction. Maybe banks will have to be speedier in terms of approving loans which is preventing people from bidding because since the auction we have a good bit of activity on them. It is factoring in a little bit of a slow down there and that is maybe preventing people from bidding on the day,” said Mr Crosse,
Regarding the market, he says that land prices have levelled - there is no surge or fall off in prices. The average price for an acre in County Limerick in 2013 was €9,208.
While this was one of the biggest one day sales in his long career, it didn’t top the sale of a farm in Emly for €3.7m.