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£20,000 price tag but Belfast's cheapest house sees bidding go through the roof

By Rebecca Black

One of the cheapest houses to be advertised for sale in Belfast now has offers of close to three times the initial asking price.

The property on Parkgate Avenue in the east of the city first went on the market for £20,000.

The low price appears to have sparked a bidding frenzy, despite the bricked-up windows, neglected garden and generally derelict state of the house.

An offer of £58,000 is now being considered, but the price could rise even further.

Estate agent Jonathan Dickson, from Simon Brien Residential, said there had been huge interest in the house, with offers still coming in daily despite the clear need for renovation.

"There has been huge interest, primarily from investors - cash buyers," Mr Dickson told this newspaper.

"It is incredible the amount of interest we have had in it. It's certainly up there (with our most popular properties) for inquiry level. There has been a huge amount of calls and emails on the property.

"It highlights the interest that people have in that area. All the government-funded regeneration in the area is bringing people in and it is certainly making the place more attractive, with properties such as this one being renovated.

"At the moment, it doesn't look great, but if someone goes in there and renovates the house they are going to make it an awful lot better.

"We have sold a few houses in the area, on the other side of the Holywood Road. They would be very modern properties and the interest they have fetched among first-time buyers and landlords is incredible.

"One on Pomona Avenue went quite a bit over the asking price, starting at £110,000.

"It is within walking distance to Belmont and Ballyhackamore, and then you have all the bus routes into the city centre. But it's also tucked away, which is what everyone wants."

Recently there was also an £87,950 bid for a two-bedroom mid-terrace house on nearby Parkgate Avenue, and a £104,950 bid for a recently renovated property of the same type on the same street.

Mr Dickson said that while staff had not gained access to the house that went on the market for £20,000, they assumed it had a working kitchen and bathroom, which banks demand to consider grating a mortgage.

He also explained that while the property was only open for cash buyers, he was sure it would be sold soon. "We are that level now where we are finalising on offers," Mr Dickson said.

"I don't see it going up a lot more... maybe the odd bid, but it is at its level and price now.

"The moral of the story is that everyone wants a house for £20,000, and they are prepared to pay more than that for it."

There are currently no £20,000 properties on the market in Belfast.

The next cheapest is a two-bed, semi-detached home on Meyrick Park in the north of the city, which is up for grabs for in the region of £35,000.

Outside the greater Belfast area, the cheapest property on the market is a one-bedroom apartment in Fintona, Co Tyrone, for £11,500. A two-bedroom apartment in the same complex is being offered for £13,000.

Elsewhere, there is a house on Main Street in Forkhill, Co Armagh, for £15,000 and a three-bed property in Dunclug Park, Ballymena, for £25,000.

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