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A Landmark Year for BidX1 - Director Jonathan Fenn reviews 2018

We’ve had an exciting and busy year at BidX1, with 4,000+ bidders competing for over 1,300 properties. Both vendors and purchasers have fully embraced the digital auction process, and the full range of asset types, from houses and apartments to development sites and investment portfolios, have gone under the virtual hammer this year. There is a clear appetite for the benefits provided by BidX1; our process is based on professional property advice, boosted by the reach, transparency and flexibility of the digital auction platform.

Multi-unit investments, whether fully residential or mixed-use, were the stand-out performers, with competitive bidding and strong results. Emmet Manor in Inchicore, a full apartment block comprising 32 x two-bedroom apartments, was a headline sale. The block had 28 apartments currently tenanted, generating €291,722 per annum. Bidding opened at €2.8m and with 3 bidders battling it out over an incredible 580 bids, the sale finally closed at €3,416,000.

Clontarf Hall, a block of 16 apartments in Limerick City subject to a management agreement generating gross income of €168,000, was sold for €1,595,000 after 49 bids. 

Emmet Manor, Inchicore, Dublin 8. Sold for €3,416,000. 

 

Residential investments weren’t the only ones to inspire intense bidding, with mixed-use lots performing well across the board.  The Benbulben Suites – tourist/student accommodation comprising 52 x two-bedroom suites – was offered in the same lot as a detached industrial investment. Five bidders were attracted by the gross income of €479,000 from the suites and they were willing to bid competitively in an attempt to secure it. The default bidding increment during a BidX1 auction is €1,000 but single bids escalated up to €100,000 in this case. The result was 72 bids and a sale price of €3,171,000 – more than €1.2m above the reserve price.  

Benbulben Suites, Sligo. Sold for €3,171,000. 

 

The Royal Apartment Complex in Carlow - 15 x apartments and 3 x retail units along with a multi-storey car park - went under the hammer in September. The complex was generating €82,260 per annum but vacancy across a number of units provided clear asset management potential. After 36 bids the lot sold for €1,640,000.

2018 has been a landmark year for BidX1 in a larger sense too. We held our first online auction of UK property in March and have now become the second largest auction house in the UK & Ireland. In August, leading private equity house Pollen Street Capital announced a strategic investment in BidX1 which will accelerate further acquisitions and rapid international expansion. This expansion has already begun; BidX1 have entered a Joint Venture partnership with Pam Golding Properties, South Africa’s leading property group. With over 300 offices in sub-Saharan Africa and a network of 2,000 agents, this is a key step in internationalising our auction platform. Alongside further expansion in the UK, we are targeting Southern & Central Europe. Spain, Portugal and Cyprus are all due to come on stream in 2019, so we’re confident that 2019 will be as busy as 2018 in terms of expansion. 

In 2019, we believe that the introduction of added-value services will open the online auction experience to an even wider market. Tailored auction finance will be a key factor, bridging the gaps that can hinder investor decisions. The BidX1 platform is often the preferred option for institutional sellers, whose remit demands accountability and proof of best-price but private sellers have been increasingly keen to avail of the efficiency and market reach provided. Bolt-on products like finance will accelerate this trend, making auctions an appealing method of buying and selling even for those who may not have considered such an option in the past.  

Our focus is on using technology to enhance the experience of buying and selling property, making us a complementary partner for property agents who want to combine their own expertise with the reach, transparency and flexibility of our digital platform. To this end, we are eager to connect with agents who wish to discuss opportunities for collaboration in 2019.