Away from Ulster, just look at what £200k will get you
The average house price in Northern Ireland is now more than £200,000 - but what will this buy you abroad? Property correspondent Helen Carson went on a global bargain hunt
Northern Ireland's rocketing house prices have been brought into sharp focus by a Belfast Telegraph snapshot survey which reveals you could purchase three quality homes abroad for less than the price of a two-bedroom apartment in east Belfast.
The Caribbean, with its white sandy beaches and laid-back attitude, is high on most people's holiday home wish list.
And those with a £200,000 budget can also look forward to collecting £25k in change - even after buying a state-of-the-art villa on Margarita Island.
A four-bedroom villa could be yours for £175,00 in Piedra Negra.
Expect the lap of luxury in this ocean view home that is just 80 metres from the beach and near the Hilton Hotel.
The two-storey accommodation includes a sitting room, three bathrooms and a marble spiral staircase.
There's a jacuzzi outside the main bedroom on the 13-foot long terrace, a private pool and your own 'curwata' bar.
Marie Campbell, director of Carrickfergus-based Overseas Property Worldwide Ltd, says Margarita Island is the undiscovered gem of the Caribbean. The popularity of nearby Barbados which has long been a haven for British tourists and cricket fans meant Margarita Island was overlooked.
"British people have been going to Barbados for years, and Margarita Island is only a one-hour flight from there," says Marie.
"The island (Margarita) still belongs to South America," she said.
"It is so beautiful and has shopping malls."
Once there, visitors can get helicopter flights to Venezuela to see the Angel Falls or pick their own pearls and make jewellery among other activities.
But you need to be quick as experts are tipping property on the island paradise to double or treble in price.
English cricket captain Michael Vaughan has already discovered the joys of Margarita Island as he owns a house here.
Overseas Property Worldwide, (tel 028 9332 9929 or 0845 612 3512) email firstname.lastname@example.org ( www.overseaspropertyworldwide.com).
Why have one home abroad when you can have three for just over £200k?, says Philip Orr, proprietor of Armagh-based Jamijo overseas property agents.
Say 'bella, bella' to a two-bedroom property in Tuscany for £103,000. Philip says you can get a 65 sq m house with a 35 sq m garden and a 15 sq m terrace for this money in one of the most coveted locations in Italy.
And if you fancy a one-bedroom ski lodge in Pamporova or Smolyan in Bulgaria, the 40 sq m apartment could be yours for £44,000.
The remainder of the money, meanwhile, would secure a one-bedroom apartment on the beach in Cape Verde.
Expect a 38-40 sq m property with access to all amenities in the five-star resort. The price? £59,000.
Jamijo overseas property agents, 24 Ballyleny Road, Richhill, Co Armagh BT61 9LS (tel 028 3887 2030) email email@example.com or www.jamijo.co.uk
Look to the land of the Pharoahs and you too could live like a king if you have £200,000 to spend.
The presidential villa in The Blue Horizon devlopment in Hurghada is described as the "creme de la creme" of holiday homes.
A bespoke home that is designed to your specific requirements - so new it is not yet posted on the company's website.
Tahir Al, director at Egypt Revealed, said the English builder only gets involved in the most prestigious developments worldwide, constructing between 30 and 50 homes a year. "He has previously built for very upmarket clients in Kent and his workmanships surpasses most developments globally such is his dedciation to quality," he said.
And £185,000 will buy unparalleled luxury with a 320 sq m villa over three floors with a roof terrace from which to watch the setting sun, six bedrooms, two master bedrooms with dressing rooms and ensuite bathrooms, two further bathrooms, kitchen with designer appliances, two living areas, a private courtyard, jacuzzi, pool and gym.
And for those who do invest with Egypt Revealed, they can watch their family villa going up via a video link on the company's website.
But if you insist on blowing the £200,000 budget, the extra spend will buy you some pretty special 'extras' including marble floors and a bigger pool.
Egypt Revealed (tel 0845 054 8697) www.egypt-revealed.com
Sporty types can get in the swing in Bulgaria with a spacious property which overlooks one of the region's first Nicklaus-designed, PGA-grade golf course which would challenge even Tiger Woods.
Villa Anna is a 190 sq m property occupying a 1,000 sq m site.
The four-bedroom, two bathroom house has a private pool, garage and barbecue area with water from a natural mineral spring piped to the bath. All this for £200,000.
Bulgaria Revealed, (tel 0845054 8697) www.bulgariarevealed.com
And for those craving some Eastern European culture a three-bedroom townhouse in up-and-coming Tunara, just north of Bucharest, costs £200,000.
Here you will find a spacious home (180 sq m of living space) with a large garden (in excess of 80 sq m), garage and two car parking spaces.
The interiors are "top notch" with designer appliances and marble-finished stairways and living areas, wall-to-wall carpets in all the bedrooms, floor-to-ceiling built-in wardrobes, SMART technology throughout (remote control lights, heating, water and music).
Each home has three double bedrooms, two bathrooms, an open plan lounge, marble floors, air conditioning and a landscaped garden.
Romania Revealed (tel 0845 054 8697) www.romaniarevealed.com