One lucky bidder picked up a rather unusual bargain on Thursday — walking away with a former police station for the price of a small family home.
The defunct RUC station in the Tyrone village of Newtownstewart — complete with high-security fencing — sold for a little over £100,000 during a cut-price property auction in Belfast yesterday.
Complete with more than an acre of land, a purpose-built sleeping accommodation block and a rumoured padded cell, the station was sold to an unnamed bidder.
It's not known what plans the new owners now have for the site.
It was one of the more interesting properties going under the hammer at the Osborne King auction in which a range of homes were sold off at a fraction of their original asking prices.
Gangs of eager bidders packed the room at the Holiday Inn on Thursday morning.
At times the tension was palpable as several bidders faced off under the watchful eye of the man with the hammer, auctioneer John Martin.
Among the gems was a former Northern Bank branch located in the Aughnacloy, Co Tyrone, which sold for only £55,000 — complete with parking and outbuildings.
A sturdy two-bedroom terraced house in Portadown went for a third of the original asking price, selling for a mere £41,000, the price of a luxury saloon car.
Whether it was for a first time family home or a long-term investment, two modern neighbouring three-bedroom houses in Craigavon each went for just over £60,000 — a staggering two-thirds below their original estimated values of between £150,000 and £170,000.
Plots of land fared less well, with several failing to reach their reserve prices.
Head of Osborne King's auction team, Mark Carron, said, on the whole, he was happy with the day’s work done.
“Overall I'm reasonably happy,” he explained
“Generally we are pretty satisfied in terms of sales.
“We’re in the mid-60s in terms of percentages sold,” he added.
24 Crawford Park, Portadown — £41,000. Original price — around £120,000.
Buyer Brian Farrell from Belfast said: “It's not for rental, it's going to be accommodation for family members. We were hoping to get it for less, though. We had actually hoped to buy it for a bit less, the high 30s.”