FIVE ‘distressed’ properties and sites across Limerick will go under the hammer for a fraction of their boom prices in the Allsop Space property auction in Dublin next month.
Among them include apartments in Mount Kennett for a mere €25,000 and a quarry in Kilfinane, county Limerick for €525,000.
In Castletroy, a self contained two-bed apartment in Cois Ghruda is on offer for a reserve of €65,000. The groundfloor unit is available on a lease of 994 years.
In the last auction, a two-bed property in the same estate sold for €81,000, €16,000 over its reserve.
But local agents are still selling two-bed properties in this Castletroy estate for three times that figure.
In the city, a two-bed apartment in Richmond Court, Mount Kennett Place, is up for €25,000 on the instructions of a receiver. It has a remaining lease of 634 years. Another property in Richmond Court is available for the same reserve.
A quarry in Kilfinane on 39 acres or 15.6 hectares is available for a reserve of €525,000, on the instructions of the receiver KPMG. In an adjoining lot a further 14 acres are on offer for €84,000, also on the instructions of the receiver.
In the last Allsop Space auction in December, seven properties in Limerick sold for in excess of €157,000 over their reserve prices.
The property agents plan to hold five auctions this year, after raising over €50m from a series of auctions held in 2011.
But local estate agents say that while properties are selling, they are undervaluing the market and can only be afforded by cash-rich buyers, rather than first-time home owners seeking cash from the banks.
“Our view is that the prices achieved for the properties in Limerick doesn’t reflect the market value of them at the moment, ” said John de Courcy, an auctioneer on Glentworth Street in the city, who like many will be keeping an eye on the auction - and what it could mean for similar properties on their books.
“It’s not a fair market place at the moment. The reserves are low, but that’s to attract people in. This is a delicate area, where there is a duty of care, but this sets a benchmark and it is bringing down the market, ” he said.
*A full version of this story was published in the Limerick Leader, print edition, dated February 11, 2012