SPRING AUCTION IS A BLOOMING SUCCESS

01 April 2014

The latest Osborne King property auction, which took place recently, resulted in total sales figures of over £4 million reflecting a 93% success rate as 42 of the 45 lots offered were sold either on the day, or prior to auction. There was standing room only as prospective buyers competed to snap up competitively-reserved properties across a broad spectrum. This auction appeared to mark the return of residential developers and house builders, which was reflected in headline prices achieved for a number of lots including a site on the Loughgall Road, Portadown which sold for £550,000 or 53% over its maximum reserve price of £360,000, a development opportunity on the Gilpinstown Road, Lurgan which sold for £145,000 against its maximum reserve price of £75,000 and a single dwelling and development opportunity on Dungonnell Road, Aldergrove which went on the market at £10,000 and sold for £60,000 or 500% above its maximum reserve!

This auction offered perhaps the most diverse assortment of property to date with an even mix of residential property, commercial premises and development land with maximum reserve prices ranging from nil to £360,000. Proceedings got off to a good start with the first lot, an industrial unit on the Mahon Industrial Estate in Portadown selling for £275,000, an 83% increase over its maximum reserve of £150,000. Similarly, Cogry Mill outside Doagh was sold for almost double its reserve price of £120,000 realising £235,000 on the day.

As in previous auctions, investors were eager to acquire keenly-priced residential properties with a number of two and three-bedroom properties, including for the first time a number of apartments, selling for comfortably over the asking price. In one instance, two neighbouring apartments at Molewsorth Mews, Cookstown sold for £40,000 – double the maximum reserve of £20,000.

According to Mark Carron, head of Osborne King’s auction team, prices achieved during this auction appear to suggest that not only is confidence returning to the market, but that the market itself is slowly beginning to recover after years of recession. He remarked, “While our previous auctions have been equally successful, there was something about this particular auction that seemed to indicate a greater level of confidence and appetite for buying, which was reflected in many lots selling for significantly more than their reserve price. Of the 500-plus people in attendance, we had 200 registered bidders, which indicates that there is a sense of renewed optimism among the general public fuelled by the knowledge that economic recovery is likely to drive prices upwards. A good example of this is a house on a housing estate outside Portadown, with a maximum reserve price of £58,000, which we sold for £75,000. A similar house on the same development fetched £62,000 in our auction last November – in other words, a 20% increase within the space of four months. “

Acknowledging that the majority of people buying private dwellings were investors and not owner-occupiers, Mark Carron added: “Our auctions seem to be attracting a lot of cash-rich investors who are attracted by the double-digit yields achievable on many of these properties, but also by the efficiency and transparency of the auction process. Apart from making their own enquiries and viewings in advance of each auction, buyers can view title deeds to each property which are available on our website. And once they have bid successfully on a property, it’s a simple matter of signing a contract, paying a deposit and completing within four weeks, which is considerably quicker and more straightforward than buying property through more conventional means. Furthermore, Osborne King does not charge a buyer’s premium unlike some other local auction houses.”

Osborne King’s next auction will take place on the 20th of June with the closing date for entries by the 9th of May. Further information about the auction will be available online at www.osborneking.com/auction.

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