The public auction of a West Cork holding took place last Thursday.
The property for sale with Dunmanway-based auctioneer Daniel Lehane was featured on these pages last November.
It was originally listed as a private treaty sale.
The demand was such, however, that the farm ended up going under the hammer at the Parkway Hotel, which is only a short distance from this executor-sale residential farm.
“It was a 55-acre residential farm in the townland of Maulshanagarry on the edge of Dunmanway,” said Daniel.
“There was a good turnout on the day, there were about 60 or 70 people in the room when we began the auction.”
The farm had a mixture of land types and one of the more interesting aspects was that part of the land — a small portion at the northern end — was within the town boundary and was zoned for residential development.
This aspect of it only served as something of a hook, however, as the vast majority was purely agricultural land and the entire holding was presented as such.
It’s also worth noting that land for sale around Dunmanway has been very rare in recent years.
The majority of the land was in good condition.
This represented 35-36 acres, according to the selling agents, with the remainder consisting of lands that were in need of improvement works to be brought up to a similar standard.
The high quality of the holding was well known locally, according to the auctioneer, who added that the farm has a reputation for fertile and free-draining soil.
“The farm was offered in lots,” says Daniel, relating how the auction day proceeded.
“Lot One was the house on half an acre, and Lot Two was 54.5 acres of land.
Then, the entire farm was offered as well.”
The house is a two-storey farmhouse with three bedrooms, described as a habitable home, and of a good structure, but in need of a good deal of work to bring it up to modern standards.
As the selling agents pointed out, the condition of the home was not as important as the fact that it exists, in an area where planning permission is difficult to obtain.
“The opening offers on the house began at €40,000,” said Daniel.
“That ended up making €95,000, above expectations, which were at €80,000 before the auction.”
The auction in two separate lots proved more successful than offering the property as a whole.
The house on half an acre was purchased by a local couple, according to the selling agent: “As far as we know, their intention is to live there,” he says.
The land made €472,500 [€8,700 per acre] and that was after a number of bids that opened at €350,000.
“We had a lot of going over and back between the lots and the overall holding.
“The lots would overtake the farm, and we’d have to go back and receive bids for the overall farm, and then go back to the lots once more.”
There were four people actively bidding on the land.
The winning bid was made by a Bandon-based solicitor, in trust, representing an unknown purchaser, the selling agent said.
“There was a lot of interest in this property,” said Daniel.
“There was a lot of farming interest as well as interest in the house on half an acre.
“It certainly surpassed our expectations. We were expecting €500,000 to €520,000, so it went well beyond that. I suppose there is future potential with this property.”
With the final figure coming in at €567,500, this was certainly a significantly better result than expected, and it goes to prove again that the right quality farms will continue to achieve strong prices.