O’Donnellan & Joyce’s auctions transformed in an unprecedented year

Former Garda station, Maam.

Former Garda station, Maam.

The O’Donnellan & Joyce auction department will look back on 2020 as the most challenging and yet, most rewarding in many ways in its 38 year history.

Optimistic start

Colm O’Donnellan said: “It started off with such hope and promise with Galway starting the year as the European Capital of Culture, it was anticipated to be a bumper year.” The auction season commenced with gusto with the first auction of the year taking place on February 28 with a total of 26 properties going for auction in the Harbour Hotel to a capacity live audience, with 90 per cent sales achieved. Properties from Galway city all along the Wild Atlantic Way, up to Donegal as well as a number of properties on the east coast, went under the auction hammer. The total number of sales value was €4,256,000.

The auction room was packed to capacity with intense bidding throughout the day. One of the highlights of this auction was a three bed semidetached house at No 4 Cedarwood Close, Highfield Park, Galway. Guiding €265,000, the hammer dropped at €354,000. In Oranmore a three bed bungalow at Creganna Beg sold for €323,000. In Dublin, a three bed semidetached house at No 304 Swords Road, Santry, sold for €285,000, and in Sligo a four bedroom detached house at No 6 Coill Dara, Tubbercurry, sold for €166,000 after guiding €135,000.

All changed utterly

The celebration of that successful auction was very short lived when on March 13 all changed dramatically with the country going in to full lockdown. With no properties being viewed, offices and businesses totally closed, we were all in that unknown period wondering how long we would be in lockdown and if the property market would completely crash.

The O’Donnellan & Joyce auction team collectively, through their marketing executive Aaron O’Reilly, organised a video tour of all properties for sale, so during the lockdown people were able to view properties online. The team were amazed at the reaction of people who were logging on and interacting with the O’Donnellan & Joyce agents, showing incredible interest. O’Donnellan & Joyce sales agents organised a charity auction which comprised three fictitious properties for sale. It was done from the comfort of their own homes with live stream to all parties and all bidders through the online technology. It was an enormous success with bidders on the phone and online interconnecting with auctioneer, Colm O’Donnellan and the staff from their own homes and through modern technology, a new way of selling properties remotely was discovered.

Pleasantly surprised

On June 8, O’Donnellan & Joyce reopened its offices and to say the team were pleasantly surprised would be an understatement, with record viewings and inquiries. On July 3 they placed four properties up for auction using remote bidding technology, and all four properties sold with total sales of €478,000. O’Donnellan & Joyce has embraced new digital technologies to connect with clients anywhere in the world. The company’s July auction made history in Ireland using innovative streaming technology. With external bidders not afraid to raise their virtual paddle, bidding between online and telephone bidders meant properties were sold for well in excess of expectations.

Socially distant

The July 24 auction had 26 properties on offer and was held in the Harbour Hotel with a very organised, socially distant, arrangement for the buyers attending. This auction boasted a 100 per cent sales success rate and earned €3,224,000 in sales. The highlight of this auction was the first property up for sale at No 16 Aran Court, Knocknacarra Road, Salthill. A first floor one bedroom apartment, it came to the market with an advised minimum value (AMV ) of €70,000 and was one of the busiest properties for viewing numbers for the July auction. After some fast paced bidding among four bidders, it finally sold for €155,000. Another busy property was a three bed mid-terrace bungalow at No 3 Saint John’s Place. It had an AMV of €220,000 and sold for €278,000. Claddagh properties always attract lots of interest and No 4 Priory Road was no different. This two bed mid-terrace house had an AMV of €250,000 and sold for €329,000 to a delighted private developer.

The July auction boasted lots of great prices, and another property to note was a three bed semidetached house at No 70 Grattan Park. This property came to the market with an AMV of €365,000 and the hammer dropped at €421,000. It was evident that people were now looking for properties in established locations close to all amenities, and particularly with easy access to the sea.

Remote bidding only

With new restrictions brought in by the Government, no live auctions were allowed in September and once again ODJ innovated and created a solely online bidding platform combined with interaction with the staff and auctioneer. The September auction generated a sales total of €4,188,000 with 28 properties on offer. This auction took place again in the Harbour Hotel in Galway, but on this occasion only the sales staff and Colm O’Donnellan, the auctioneer, were present. The auction was streamed live as usual but bidders did not attend in person, instead bidding online and by phone. There were a number of Galway properties for sale by the Office of Public Works (OPW ) including former Garda stations at Leenane and Maam in Connemara and one in Corrandulla. The Leenane property was guiding €70,000 and had more than 20 bidders vying for success. Bidding was fast and furious and it finally sold for €325,000. The Maam property was in a very derelict state and was guiding €30,000. It too sold for a great price, achieving €216,000 at auction. Corrandulla former Garda station, also in disrepair, was quoting €70,000 and sold for €250,000.

Totally remote

With further restrictions introduced in October, the October 30 auction now had the auctioneer in the room on his own, connected remotely not only with his staff but also with all bidders through innovative and modern technology. Auctioneer Colm O’Donnellan conducted the auction via virtual bidding and online bidding which created an incredible atmosphere. In a marathon three and a half hour non-stop auction, 30 properties were placed for sale with 26 sales recorded on the day. Highlights of the October auction included property sales in Sligo, Mayo, Kildare, and Meath. In Sligo, a three bed terraced house in poor condition was guiding €50,000 and proved very popular with viewers, selling for €107,000. Following that No 53 Jinks Avenue, a two bed terraced house, sold for €71,000 after guiding €60,000. No 84 Jinks Avenue, a two bed end-of-terrace house sold for €76,000 after guiding €65,000. Two two bed apartments in Navan town, one at Bailis Village and the other at Distillery Quay, both guiding €90,000, sold for €118,000 each.

The grand finale

The December 11 auction was the grand finale of an historic year that will be remembered by everybody. Twenty properties went under the auction hammer, with 17 being sold. The auction kicked off with a very attractive bungalow for sale at Middle Third near Maree in Oranmore. This three bed property on an elevated site overlooking Kilcaimin Bay, with an AMV of €385,000, sold for €480,000 after eight bidders intensely chased it. In Galway city a four bed mid-terrace house at No 5 Saint Mary’s Avenue, Taylor’s Hill, was guiding €365,000 and sold for €405,000 after a phone bidder and an internet bidder battled it out. In Dublin city, a two bed city centre apartment at No 23 Adelaide Court sold for €435,000 after guiding €395,000, and The Mayfly Hotel in Foxford in County Mayo was sold prior with an AMV of €225,000.


Colm O’Donnellan of O’Donnellan & Joyce said: “For the next year, we’re not forecasting anything. We discovered what a dangerous thing it is to do as nobody knows what’s around the corner. However, we would outline that modern technology has changed the way we all do business and all sales are not just local, but with modern technology we can reach out and obtain bids from a much wider and larger audience than ever before.”

O’Donnellan & Joyce’s next auction will be on Friday February 26, with a registration deadline of January 22 to include your property. Contact Colm O’Donnellan on 091 564 212 or email [email protected] to include your property for sale.


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