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£20k - Cheapest house for sale in Northern Ireland

It mightn't look like much now... but with a lot of hard work and just £20k this could be home sweet home

By Rachel Martin

You might need a sledge hammer to get through the front door, but Belfast's cheapest home could be yours for just £20,000.

For around the same cost as a new car, the east Belfast property is within walking distance of Connswater Shopping Centre and just a few steps from the popular Belmont Road with its eateries and shops.

It is also less than two miles from City Hall.

Based in the east Belfast suburb of Strandtown, the house at Parkgate Avenue is currently derelict with its windows and door bricked up - but could still be a good investment for a handy cash buyer.

In comparison, two other houses on the same street are currently being marketed for £50,000 and £88,000 respectively.

This end terrace property is in need of significant modernisation but could be an investment opportunity for those who have the right skills or good trade connections.

Jonathan Dickon, east Belfast branch manager at Simon Brien Estate Agents, said he expected there would be a lot of interest in the property. "The lack of supply on the housing market in east Belfast makes this a good opportunity for an investor; the area is very popular with buy-to-let developers and there has been a lot of regeneration nearby.

"In layman's terms it is a big job, but I think it will appeal to a lot of experienced developers, cash-rich and looking to renovate."

However, Co Down-born London property investor Andrew McKee said prospective buyers should approach with caution.

"While the asking price is likely to attract a good bit of interest, potential purchasers will be buying blind and will therefore need to budget for the worst and hope for the best," he said.

"It will likely need considerably more than a few windows and new tiles on the roof. That said, it's right on the doorstep of the Connswater Greenway regeneration project, so the area is benefiting from a new lease of life."

Due to the condition of the property the estate agent cannot offer internal inspection and those hoping to make an offer must have the cash at the ready, as only cash offers will be accepted.

Another of Northern Ireland's cheapest homes - a derelict three-bed terrace house off Ballymena's Cushendall Road - is currently on the market with a guide price of £25,000.

Across the border, prospective house-hunters can pick up the keys to a two-bedroom country cottage in Co Cavan for just €10,000 (£8,739).

The house is located in what estate agents describe as "an angler's paradise" near Lakes Templeport and Bellaboy.

Economist John Simpson said the bargain comes as the housing market in Northern Ireland begins to slow.

He said: "Last year saw a gradually improving market, but at the moment, there are many reasons for uncertainty about where prices are going this year.

"It's likely real world incomes are going to fall for the sort of people who will be looking to buy a home, so that will have some impact.

"I don't think prices will fall, but there's a danger the housing market will stall, especially given the way the budget has gone."

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