A south Belfast apartment for £117,000 was one of the major bargains snapped up at a property auction yesterday.
Hundreds of budding investors travelled from across Northern Ireland to the Holiday Inn on Ormeau Avenue in the city for a chance to buy more than 50 properties and sites going under the hammer.
It was standing room only as bidding started on a massive portfolio in Londonderry which included a 227-space car park, one-bedroom apartment and 0.32-acre development site at Harper Quay.
One plucky bidder chanced a £100,000 offer, but following a keen effort by two others, it sold for £365,000.
Next up was one of the most eagerly anticipated lots, a modern two-bedroom apartment at The Cloisters on University Avenue, a short distance from Queen's University.
Its capital value was £130,000, but it was offered for auction for just £95,000. It was bought by a couple from Magherafelt for £117,000.
The couple, who preferred not to be named, said it was the first time they had been to a property auction.
"We saw this apartment in the catalogue and had been to see it before the auction," they said.
"There is just such a poor return on money in the bank these days we thought property would be a much better investment.
"So far we are thinking about renting it out, although we have some nieces and nephews who will be coming to Belfast in a few years' time so we'll see."
A similar apartment in the complex rents per month for around £620.
Later in the auction, a three-bedroom bungalow on Palmerston Road in east Belfast sold for £96,000, slightly under the reserve price of £100,000. Its capital value was set at £140,000.
A two-bedroom house on Alliance Avenue in north Belfast sold for just £39,000 and a spacious two-bedroom holiday apartment in Portrush sold for £81,000.
One of the best-achieving lots was Keady Quarry in Limavady. It sold for £120,000 - four times the reserve of £30,000.
And a 2.14-acre piece of land in Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh, sold for £90,000 - nine times the reserve of £10,000.
What sold for what?
The Cloisters, Belfast, reserve: £95k. Sold for: £117k; Princes Gate, Dromore, reserve: £67,500. Sold for: £74k; Keady Quarry, Limavady, reserve: £30k. Sold for: £120k; Peninsula Apartments, Portrush, reserve: £70k. Sold for: £81k; Upper Newtownards Road, Belfast, reserve: £70k. Sold for:£60k; Alliance Avenue, Belfast, reserve: £33k. Sold for: £39k.