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History under hammer: Former shirt factory is sold for £460,000

By Margaret Canning

Published 03/12/2015

The former Desmonds factory in Enniskillen
The former Desmonds factory in Enniskillen

A former shirt factory in Co Fermanagh has been bought at auction, 15 years after it was last in use.

There were a total of 55 lots sold for £6.2m at last week's Osborne King event - an average sale price of £112,700.

The Desmonds factory was sold for £460,000, just £10,000 above the asking price, to an unidentified buyer at the auction held last week.

Desmonds was one of Northern Ireland's best-known textiles firms and stopped production in Enniskillen in 2000.

Other lots at the auction included a four-bedroom red brick terrace in Stranmillis, south Belfast, which fetched £120,000 - more than double its maximum reserve price of £50,000. A bar in Newtownhamilton, Co Armagh, was also sold for £55,000 - £20,000 above its maximum reserve.

The agency said the auction had seen the return of some buyers who were last active in the market before the property crash.

Osborne King director Mark Carron said average prices of around £112,700 were double those achieved when the agents first revived the auction market in 2007.

He added: "The auction was packed from start to finish, with bidders including some people who were around in 2007.

"There is now an established market for auctions in Northern Ireland, even if it may never be as big as London or Dublin.

"For ourselves, we see a longevity in auctions and it's not a short-term strategy for us."

Mr Carron said the new owner of the Desmonds factory had not been identified, but added that the interior needed "a complete overhaul".

And he added that substantial prices had also been reached in the cases of two commercial lots in Loy Street in Cookstown.

A Chinese restaurant at 40-42 Loy Street was sold for £260,000, while the same price was also reached for another commercial premises further down the street.

And a site of one-third of an acre in Castlerock, Co Antrim has also reached £175,000, Mr Carron said.

The agency has held 14 auctions since 2011, with the next to take place on March 23 next year.

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