10 December 2015

Over 50 lots went under the hammer during our auction at the end of November, which realised £6.2 million worth of sales in under two hours.  There was standing room only in the Olympic Suite at the Clayton Hotel, Ormeau Avenue, Belfast as properties ranging from the former Desmond’s Factory outside Enniskillen was sold for £460,000 while just over an acre of land close to Aughnacloy was snapped up for £8,000 with a wide range of property including houses, commercial units, a pub and development sites either reaching or exceeding their maximum reserve prices.

As in previous auctions this year, bidders were eager to acquire competitively priced properties across all parts of Northern Ireland and the border counties.  And as expected, bidding was keen particularly in relation to a number of residential properties in the Stranmillis area of Belfast with six houses proving extremely popular buys on the day.  The auction got off to a flying start with its first lot, 5 Stranmillis Gardens, a mid-terrace, four-bedroom house significantly exceeding its maximum reserve of £50,000 and selling for £120,000 whilst a two-bedroom city centre apartment fetched £201,000 comfortably exceeding its maximum reserve price of £180,000.  

The momentum was maintained until the end of the auction when two commercial investment properties in Cookstown, which went on the market at £95,000 and £100,000 respectively provoked a bidding war that pushed the eventual sale price up to £260,000 in each case. Development land also proved popular on the day with buyers bidding well over the asking price of £180,000 for 5 and half acres of land in Glynn, Co. Antrim which was sold for £250,000.  A similarly-sized parcel of land in Cookstown fetched £180,000, well above its maximum reserve of £135,000, while land comprising one third of an acre overlooking the sea at Castlerock, Co. Londonderry sold for £175,000.

So far this year, Osborne King has achieved £12.2 million in auction sales over the course of three auctions reflecting an overall success rate of 93%, which Mark Carron who heads up OK’s auction team attributes to various factors, principally a renewed confidence in property as a worthwhile investment and asset class stating, “There is no doubt in my mind that confidence is growing steadily within the property market.  Although we had a large number of repeat buyers and bidders at this auction, we also noticed the emergence of new buyers who have not engaged with the auction process until now.“

Continuing, he added, “Undoubtedly a greater availability of finance is helping to drive demand for development land in particular, which was in evidence during this auction.  We are also seeing quite a few cash buyers and investors who are attracted by prices that remain competitive offering yields as high as 10%.  If you have money to invest, property is still a very attractive proposition especially when compared with other investment vehicles provided you are prepared to take a medium-term view.”

Since re-entering the auction sector in 2011, Osborne King has sold over £41 million worth of property by public auction and earlier this year was ranked 6th in the UK Top Auctioneer’s list, which is compiled by the Essential Information Group (EIG), an off-shoot of leading property magazine, Estates Gazette.  The company’s next auction will take place on Wednesday 23rd of March 2016, details of which will be available on www.osborneking.com/auction nearer the date.

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