The first distressed properties auction was held in Dublin yesterday and a huge crowd showed up to bid on the 80 real estate offerings on view.

Real Estate agents had stated that the auction of distressed properties would firmly establish a floor on Irish house and apartment  prices which have slumped dramatically.

Reserve prices were as low as one third of what the market had been offering and it proved a realistic floor.

A penthouse Dublin apartment on the block three years ago for $1.7 million went for $450,000. A one bedroom apartment in the fashionable Temple Bar district went for $160,000 while similar apartments in recent times have been on the market for $300,000.

The more realistic prices led to quick sales with 79 of the 80 properties sold.

The auction at the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin attracted such a large crowd that it had to be temporarily suspended as eager bidders spilled out onto the street.

A total of $20 million was spent overall. A mews house in Raglan Lane in upmarket Ballsbridge that had a reserve of $800,000 sold for $750,000, to the surprise of one Dublin agent who stated he had valued it at well over $1 million

The next auction is scheduled for July 6th.

Stephen McCarthy from Space auctioneers said the level in interest “firmly establishes that the Irish taste for property at the right price has not been dampened by the past few years."