Belfast Telegraph

Victorian house in Armagh snapped up for bargain price of £28k

By Allan Preston

Armagh could be the new bargain city for house hunters with the recent sale of an eye-catching Victorian terraced property for just £28,000.

Two other 'fixer-uppers' nearby also remain on the market at the prices of £30,000 and £36,000 - far below the current Northern Ireland house price average of £132,169.

Situated near the city centre, 8 Umgola Row features a rustic stonework exterior and can be traced back to at least 1901.

Although in need of "complete renovation", and with the front door and windows bricked up, the otherwise photogenic two-up two-down property has the potential to generate rent of £450 per calendar month (£5,400 a year).

Local architect and Ulster Unionist councillor for Armagh, Sam Nicholson, said he hoped the new owners would restore the dwelling to its former glory.

"In the current climate £28,000 sounds quite a bargain," he said. "I'm not sure of the exact history, but you would imagine that this row of stone houses would have been workers' houses from way back."

A census of Ireland from 1901 featured on website nationalarchives.ie shows a young family of four were among the former residents.

Joseph Oliver (24) is listed as "head of the family" with his wife Mary G Oliver (26) and sons John (3) and Thomas James (age not listed).

"Armagh has a lot of heritage and history and I do hope the new owner restores it, but being an architect myself I know how expensive these things can be," he continued. "I do a lot of work with historic properties and I can tell you we've lost a lot of our old heritage in the countryside."

With VAT and the extra cost of refurbishment, he said heritage restorations could often add 20% to the final price.

"It makes people want to just knock them down and build new.

"I'm very much a supporter of keeping our heritage and old buildings, but my philosophy as an architect is, 'If it's there restore it, but if not build modern'," he added.

With the sale recently agreed, there is still hope of getting a bargain in Armagh, with two nearby properties still on sale.

Less than two miles away is 3 St Malachy's Terrace, on sale for £30,000.

The centrally located mid-terrace is described as "in need of some TLC" and "a brilliant opportunity for investors". For those who favour country life, a detached bungalow on sale for £36,000 at 14 Drumhillery Park is only a 20-minute drive away.

It is described in the property listing as a "quaint two-bedroom semi-detached chalet bungalow" with countryside views which is "in need of some modernisation", and comes with a front garden and side patio and a potential rent of £400 per month (£4,800 a year).

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