14 March 2013

Osborne King’s first auction of 2013 takes place on Friday 22nd March in the Holiday Inn, Ormeau Avenue, Belfast. The company is hoping to repeat the 100% success rate of its last auction in November 2012 when it sold 36 properties raising £2.5 million in the process. This time, most of the properties on offer are residential with maximum reserve prices ranging from £30,000 for a three-bedroom, mid-terrace property in Londonderry to a five-bedroom, partially-built detached house in Limavady that has a maximum reserve of £65,000.

Overall, 27 properties will be up for grabs (unless sold prior to auction) of which more than 60% are either houses or residential development sites. A small number of the properties are in Belfast, however, the majority are spread across Northern Ireland with every county represented. First-time buyers, investors and buy-to-let purchasers have plenty to choose. Up for grabs are a three-bedroom, semi-detached property in Richhill that has a garden big enough to accommodate a detached house or garage subject to planning permission (maximum reserve £55,000); a three-bedroom townhouse in Strabane (maximum reserve price £50,000) and a four-bedroom, detached chalet bungalow in Loughgall, Co. Armagh with a maximum reserve of £70,000. Belfast houses for sale include a three-bedroom, mid-terrace property off the Cregagh Road priced at £52,000 and an end-terrace, three-bedroom house at Iveagh Parade in West Belfast, which has a maximum reserve of £46,000.

At the height of Northern Ireland’s property boom, properties such as those featuring in Osborne King’s auction would have sold on the open market for substantially higher prices and, in many instances, their value has dropped by up to 60-70%.

Acknowledging this, Mark Carron who heads up the company’s auction team said, “Although property prices no longer appear to be in free fall, we are still not seeing any signs of an appreciable recovery, which means that people in a position to buy are acquiring good-quality property at affordable prices. That said, we are seeing a growth in investors entering the market and buying properties to let, buoyed by affordability and a strong domestic letting market. The volume of transactional activity has increased greatly, particularly in relation to sale prices below the zero-rated stamp duty threshold, which is fixed currently at £125,000. However, much will depend on credit availability and market confidence in general, which currently appears fragile.”

Interest in the upcoming auction has been keen, particularly since the catalogue was published on-line a few weeks ago and Osborne King is expecting a large turnout on auction day. Full details of lot types, sizes and prices are available in Osborne King’s auction catalogue either online: or by telephoning 028 9027 0000.

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