EDITION: February - April 2010


Ruth Osborn

Going once, Going twice… Sold!

As Ibiza readies itself for its first property auction, Ibicasa takes a look at this history of this lively means of selling and buying.

Auctions are exciting. The prospect of winning a much sought after item and possibly at a bargain price, the thrill of bidding, the tension of would be buyers and the finality of the sale as the auctioneers hammer falls. Auctions are also an indicator of the true market value of an item, at a given time. Something is, after all, only really worth as much as someone is willing to pay for it. Auctions are an old form of public sale in which anyone can participate and quite simply the goods are sold to the highest bidder. The word itself is derived from the Latin “augere” which means to increase or to augment.

Auctions have a colourful history in the Western world. The earliest historical record of buying and selling commodities through auction is provided by the Greek historian Herodotus in 500 B.C. when, in Babylon, women were regularly auctioned for marriage. In fact this was the only legal way in which women were to be betrothed. The auctioneer started bidding with the woman he considered most beautiful and progressed to the least – can you imagine! During the Roman Empire (27 BC–AD 476/1453) auctions were used extensively to distribute the spoils of war, even the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius (121-180) was said to have auctioned off family heirlooms and prized furniture in an auction that lasted over two months.

In fifteenth century England King Henry VII instituted some of the earliest auction laws, fast forward two-hundred years and auctions were popular occasions in coffee houses and taverns, selling art, collectables and sometimes land. The eighteenth century saw the establishment of the well known English auction houses Sotheby’s (1744) and Christie’s (1766). Across the pond in colonised America auctions became the primary method in which settlers bought and sold land, crops, furs, tobacco from the late sixteenth century onwards. Infamously the slave trade was orchestrated through auction.

Nowadays a new generation of auctioneers has been born with the help of the internet creating a global market place. Virtual auction houses such as Ebay have made auctioning an easier, more accessible and potentially highly profitable means through which people can buy and sell absolutely anything. Another notable trend is that of property auctions. A result of the current economic climate and housing market situation, property auctions have successfully sprung up across Europe, particularly in the UK and through the Spanish Costas and, always on-trend, Ibiza is no exception. The first ever international property auction will take place in Ibiza on the 9th of April 2010 in Santa Eulalia’s five star luxury hotel Aguas de Ibiza.

The property auction in Ibiza will bring together both prospective buyers and sellers under one roof with the aim of creating a win-win situation for all involved. Initiated, organised and promoted by entrepreneurs in the real estate business, the team behind Property Ibiza Auctions collectively has over eighteen years experience of real estate and quality service provision on the island. The auction will be conducted in Spanish and English with multilingual advisors also on hand. Proffering a good selection of properties to suit all budgets, the auction offers a sales process which promises to be;

• Fair – in terms of market value.
• Simplified – in terms of the buying process and with the benefit that all property checks are carried out prior to auction.
• Quicker – the sale will be legal on the day with completion within thirty days.
• Less costly – with no agents fees added to the final cost; a 50% reduction in buyers fee and a 50% reduction in the sellers fee and the legal costs of Gamaservi have also been reduced from the usual 3% to 1%.

On the day professionals from Santa Gertrudis auction house ‘Casi Todo’ will be auctioneering the properties, they have been running auctions on the island for over thirty-five years

Certainly sounds a must for anyone looking to buy or sell a property in Ibiza this spring and with further auctions planned could this be the start of a new way of property sales on the island?
Text: Ruth Osborn