Belfast Telegraph

Property bargain hunters pay twice the asking price

By Margaret Canning

Repossessed homes in Northern Ireland have been fetching around twice as much as expected at a major auction in London.

Allsop's sale event of more than 250 homes featured 15 properties in Northern Ireland, many of which were snapped up for double their guide price.

A two-bed terrace in Fortuna Street in Belfast sold for £30,500, trumping a guide price of £15,000-plus.

A three-bedroom end-of-terrace in Sydney Street West on the Crumlin Road in the city was sold for £53,000, more than double its guide price of £25,000.

Others performed less spectacularly well, with a three-bed end-of-terrace in Bleerick Drive, Antrim, coming under the hammer for a guide price of £20,000 to £25,000 – and selling for just £27,000.

A boarded-up three bedroom home in Durnish Road, Antrim was sold for £20,000 – four times its £5,000 guide price, but a house in Oaktree Drive in the town was one of few Northern Ireland properties to fail to reach its guide price and sold for £29,000, missing its guide of £30,000 to £35,000.

Six-bedroom properties in the Tyrone area are on sale with price tags of up to £300,000.

A spokeswoman for Allsop said interest in the Northern Ireland properties had been strong, with many inquiries about how to get to the Cumberland Hotel, where the auction took place. "We sold 90% of the Northern Irish lots – £384,500 in total," she said.

"The team reported last week that almost every other inquiry for property for the national catalogue was from a Northern Irish buyer.

"We placed an advertisement last Thursday, and the day after, it seemed every second call was from somewhere in Northern Ireland.

"We had a lot of queries about which airport to fly into and how to take part in remote bidding and online bidding."

The sellers of the homes are low-profile lenders eager to clear their books of houses which have been repossessed from borrowers, but have failed to sell through normal channels.

Property prices in Northern Ireland have dropped by around 50% since the property boom of 2007.

According to the residential property price index from Land and Property Services, the standardised price of a property in Northern Ireland is £91,553, down from £209,857 in 2007.

Belfast Telegraph


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