Belfast Telegraph

Revealed: Northern Ireland's 10 most viewed properties of 2019

The ‘For Sale’ luxury homes gaining most clicks in 2019

The Old School House: Belfast
The Old School House: Belfast
Magheramorne Estate: Larne
226 Upper Malone Road: Belfast
Cultra Avenue: Holywood
Margaret Canning

By Margaret Canning

From sea views to swimming pools, and generous gardens to woodland - Northern Ireland people know what makes a dream home.

Our average house price is just under £140,000, but that didn't stop most of us from window-shopping online for luxury properties valued at up to 20 times that.

Stunning views and palatial grounds feature highly on the list of desirables.

For the truly manor-born, there are houses with cloakrooms and a coach house, a feature oak stairway and games rooms.

Northern Ireland's top 10 most viewed properties for 2019 include homes in the millionaire hideaways of Helen's Bay and Cultra in Co Down.

And recognising the priorities of likely buyers, their estate agents mention the homes' proximity to Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club and Royal Belfast Golf Club.

The most viewed house, according to analysis by website Propertynews.com, was a historic detached villa harbouring a Titanic secret off Newtownbreda Road in Belfast.

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The Old School House is now under offer after it went on sale for £439,500.

It was built in 1833 by the Deramore family. Sir Robert Bateson - whose children later took on the name of Deramore after a title of peerage was granted - was a prominent 19th century Conservative politician and landowner in the Belvoir area.

The house has a timber window seat, made up of wood that was used as part of the construction of the Titanic in Harland & Wolff.

A price tag of £439,500 is beyond the reach of most people - although it is the cheapest property on the list.

Drawing those of us with pretensions to even greater grandeur, a country estate in Magheramorne drew lots of interest and was the second most-viewed.

Designed by Samuel P Close, Magheramorne Estate near Larne dates back to 1881 and was built by Sir James Hogg to mark his peerage, when he took the title Baron Magheramorne.

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Magheramorne Estate: Larne

It remained a residential home before becoming a privately-owned hotel in the 1970s.

It is surrounded by 43 acres of idyllic woodland and beautifully landscaped gardens, overlooking Larne Lough on the scenic Causeway Coastal Route.

And a mansion on Upper Malone Road was the joint-priciest property to pull in the top clicks, with 226 Upper Malone Road having an asking price of £2.8m. It has six bedrooms, four reception rooms, over eight acres of private grounds and views of Malone Golf Course.

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226 Upper Malone Road: Belfast

Moving outside Belfast, and 25 Cultra Avenue is described as "one of the finest and most desirable residences in North Down" and has the price to match - £2.85m.

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Cultra Avenue: Holywood

It was designed by award-winning architect Des Ewing and was built in 2000.

According to selling agents Simon Brien, it is "nestled within a mature setting enjoying considerable privacy and seclusion with sweeping driveway and private entrance gates".

It also has ornate features like high-corniced ceilings and period fireplaces.

A more 'affordable' option is Ivy Lodge at 22 Circular Road West in Cultra, which was also designed by Mr Ewing and has an asking price of £1.75m.

Outside the so-called Gold Coast of Holywood, the most popular homes do become more affordable, like 3 The Courtyard, Dunadry, with its four bedrooms and four reception rooms, with an asking price of £650,000.

Thomas O'Doherty, a partner at estate agents Simon Brien, which has many of the priciest properties on its books, said: "From a viewing point of view, people will often look at properties they won't buy themselves.

"They will look at them to see interiors, kitchens and gardens to get ideas to replicate them in a smaller scale.

"This year in areas like Upper Malone and Cultra, we have sold quite a number of properties north of £1m and some in the order of £2m. Not every one is openly advertised and some are sold off-market."

He added: "There are people moving back from London because of the school system, quality of life and for jobs.

"£1m to £2m buys you a lot of house in Northern Ireland but might get you just a small townhouse in London."

According to the latest property price index from Land & Property Services, house prices in NI climbed by 4% between the third quarter of 2018 and the third quarter of 2019, hitting an average of £139,951.

Mr O'Doherty said he predicted a similar rate of growth during 2020.

The exclusive list in full

1: The Old School House, 15 Newtownbreda Road, Belfast: £439,500

2: Magheramorne Estate, Larne: £975,000

3: 226 Upper Malone Road, Belfast: £2.85m

4: Ivy Lodge, 22 Circular Road West, Holywood: £1.75m

5: 25 Cultra Avenue, Holywood: £2.85m

6: 3 The Courtyard, Dunadry: £650,000

7: 37 Scaddy Road, Killyleagh: £695,000

8: 97 Ballybarnes Road, Holywood: £895,000

9: 28a Osborne Drive, Belfast: £499,950

10: Wedgwood, 23 Sheridan Drive, Helen's Bay: £885,000

* Source: Propertynews.com

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