Last night, Merlin Property, Ireland’s only Irish owned property auction house, welcomed key industry professionals including representatives from financial institutions, investors, private buyers and private sellers to the official launch of Merlin Property inthe Burlington Hotel. We unveiled a range of services on offer to all sectors of the property market ranging from our holistic asset management approach right through to auction in terms of disposal of assets. We are also delighted to company announce the first auction date – Tuesday, 22nd November 2011 at 11am in the Burlington Hotel, Dublin.
Since we launched our property division in July of this year, we have identified through our ongoing liaisons with financial institutions, receivers and developers, that there is a need to offer solutions to a stagnant market and to look beyond the obvious in terms of existing property use, be that residential or commercial.
To address this we have established an asset management division incorporating a panel of experts in the fields of property, re-design, cost management and development expertise to offer such solutions to our clients.
Lisa Geoghegan, Property Director said “The specialist skills brought by this team in each of their own fields means we can service and control all types of property assets, always ensuring that whilst revenue is being collected and managed, the asset is also being vetted to identify the potential to increase or adapt the property to maximise the return for our client. We have developed an extensive partnership with Wealth Management, Quantity Surveyor and Architect firms to offer a full service solution for their customers.”
At the launch David Byrne, Managing Director of Merlin Property said “Merlin are recognised and respected in the field of Auctioneering and have been for over 37 years with our sister company Ganly Craigie.” He went to add “ Having identified a shift in primary asset disposal through our existing working relationship with the major banks we decided as part of our sustainable business plan to expand on our existing involvement in the property industry.”
The guest speakers at the launch included, Karl Deeter of Irish Mortgage Brokers, Vincent O’Farrell of OFQS, and Paula ter Brake, Managing Partner of Weston and Wellington. Each gave their insights in their respective areas into the current status of the market.
Karl Deeter of Irish Mortgage brokers discussed the banks saying, “Irish banks might end up needing as much expertise in operations and asset management as they lacked in the credit decisions that lead up to this.”
He went on to say “Debt forgiveness divides society along ‘for’ and ‘against’ lines. In fact, it is just a term for facing commercial reality in certain situations and we gave the banks the money to do this with.”
On property sales he commented “We believe that non apartment second hand properties in cities is the best market for buy and hold investors, with yields in many cases near low double digits there is a compelling argument for property for the first time in almost a decade.”
Paula ter Brake, Managing Partner of Weston and Wellington was on hand to reinforce Merlin Properties strong working relationships with market investors in determining their needs. She also elaborated on some of the issues they face and how Merlin Property are best placed in their service to offering solutions.
There is significant interest from the investment community, both in Ireland and globally in our distressed market yet very few transactions are being executed according to Paula ter Brake. “Investors are increasingly frustrated with the time to execute transactions and the inconsistent methodology applied by vendors in underwriting large value property acquisitions. With investors applying a more rigorous pre purchase due diligence process than previously seen in this market, the time and cost of concluding negotiations with Irish banks is driving investors to retreat to the relative normality of alternative property markets such as London, where assets delivering strong returns can be acquired swiftly.”
She continued, “Novice property investors, ill prepared and unfamiliar with the need to utilise hybrid valuation methods in a challenged market are equally to blame for stalling the process. Vendors are having their time wasted by investors hoping to get a share of the action, seeking unrealistic yields without consideration to the sensitivities of vendors’ needs, location and covenant strength. Vendors need to implement processes to enable reputable buyers, armed with proof of funds to be given the opportunity to strike a deal.”
Vincent O’Farrell OFQS chartered Quantity Surveyor and Lisa Geoghegan provided an overview on the commercial aspect of the current Irish property market during their address. They discussed the fact that office space is currently one of the top performing commercial assets of this quarter with vacancies down to between 18.9 – 22% in Dublin. However, many vacant units are not realising their potential.
Lisa Geoghegan went on to speak about the current phenomenon of existing tenants exercising their break clauses to negotiate more favourable leases in other locations. “Being aware of this allows the Merlin Property team to put forward recommendations to our clients i.e. banks and receivers in terms of feasibility studies, change of use planning permissions, re-design, fit out and tenant negotiation. In some cases already having the end user in place and knowing their needs, Merlin Property source the right location and unit on their behalf.”
The full catalogue for the first Merlin Property auction will be available on 3rd November and there will be a three-week viewing period of properties prior to the auction which will take place on 22nd November 2011.
Entry to the auction is still available for a limited period of time. To enter a property for auction, contact Lisa Geoghegan (01) 4395470 or email@example.com