At the Grand Hotel in Fermoy, Co Cork, last Friday, a 95-acre non-residential farm went under the hammer, producing a strong result.
The property — featured in these pages on June 20 — is located in the townland of Bridgeland on the outskirts of Rathcormac village.
The holding was for sale jointly with Dick Barry & Co in Fermoy and GVM Auctioneers (represented by Richard Ryan of the Kilmallock branch).
The auction was carried out by Michael Barry of Dick Barry & Sons, and a large attendance was present.
This was one of the star properties in Munster so far this year, so the level of anticipation amongst the farming public and the public in general was high.
“To say that this is an exceptional farm would be an understatement,” Michael stated, when the property first came on the market.
There is no doubt that its credentials were second to none in terms of its overall quality, with the farm being well fenced all around, and with a good collection of outbuildings, it also enjoyed a very long stretch of road frontage onto the former main Cork-Dublin road (the previously named N8, now called the R639, since the construction of the M7).
And the land was adjacent to the village of Rathcormac and all of its amenities, with further road frontage on a secondary road.
In spite of all that, however, there was no hint of the land being zoned at any point in the near future, so its value was always going to be of a purely agricultural nature.
This didn’t preclude, however, an interested party from taking a more bullish view of its long-term potential, given its proximity to the motorway and Cork city.
The price guide before the auction was put at €15,000 per acre.
This was regarded as being slightly conservative by many, but when a public auction goes ahead, it all comes down to who turns up on the day, and how many of them.
On this day, there was a very big crowd present, but just three active bidders turned up.
The bidding opened at €1,000,000 (€10,500/acre) and then the bids went up in increments of €50,000, until it reached €1,650,000.
At this point, with only two active bidders remaining, a recess was called to consult with the vendors.
When the auction resumed, the property was declared as ‘On the Market’ by Michael.
No more bids were forthcoming, however, and the hammer was brought down on a figure of €17,370 per acre.
This was a strong figure, no doubt, but the feeling was that it was a property with the potential to make an even higher figure, given the right conditions.
“You just never know when you go to public auction,” says Michael.
“There are days when you get more than you would expect and then there are days when the result is less than you expect.
“The vendor was pleased that this property made a good price.”
The farm was bought in trust by a local solicitor.