Buying Repossessed Homes in Northern Ireland

By May 29, 2009House Repossession

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House Repossession is historically very low in Northern Ireland, when compared with the rest of Europe(and indeed, the world). However, during the last quarter of 2008, repossessions rocketed by a huge 93% as a result of the ongoing credit crunch: 1006 summons and writs were issued in the final 3 months of 2008, when the figure stood at just 521 in the last quarter of the previous year.

Although this is sad for those involved, there is a distinct advantage for househunters and investors with all the repossessed properties flooding the Northern Irish property market – repossessions typcially sell at auction for anything between 20-50% below their market value.

Most repossessed properties are in good or excellent condtion, and are simlpy sent to auction because the lender wishes to sell quickly. If you are interested in buying a repossessed property, check out the property section of your local newspaper – lenders sometimes invite interested parties to bid on such properties. There are also several property autioneers in Northern Ireland:

  • Wilsons Auctioneers have been established for over 70 years and hold regular property auctions at locations across Northern Ireland. See their website for details of forthcoming auctions and to view the auction catalogues.

Richard Bell of Wilsons Auctions says:

“We have seen an understandable increase in the number of instructions being received from financial institutions as a result in the property market readjustment. These properties are always keenly contested by investors and speculators as they are perceived to represent value in the market place.

It must be stated that as auctioneers with a very small window of sales time we have been and will continue to be particularly realistic in our pre- auction valuations on all property entered for auction. The obvious advantages to the seller are a quick efficient sale with no chains and for the buyer transparency and no gazumping.

Our sales are held monthly between our Mallusk and Portadown branches as well as bimonthly in our Scottish branch – view online at

We are delighted to discuss the auction process with clients who may want guidance or advice”.

  • CPS (City Property Services) is an estate agency with branches all across Northern Ireland. The company has been in business for over 20 years and also run auctions from time to time. Their website features details of upcoming auctions, and you can also request a catalogue.

Buying Repossessed Properties in Northern Ireland

Art O’Hagan, proprietor of CPS estate agents, comments:

“Genuine buyers want to acquire property at the best price; auctions is the best way to achieve this as it is transparent for both the vendor & buyer, plus cuts out potential buyers offering bids & not completing. We have also reduced the deposit to 5% from 10% & increased the completion from 4 weeks to 8 weeks to facilitate buyers. It’s a buyers market so let’s attract buyers into the market”

  • Osborne King, based in Belfast, are an established auction house, and are in fact Northern Ireland’s leading commercial property auctioneers. In addition to commercial lots, they also sell repossessed residential properties – see their website for details of properties and forthcoming auctions.

There are many advantages to buying properties at auction, in addition to the low starting prices:

  • Auctions often feature a wide range of properties, over a wide geographical area, meaning more choice for buyers, whether private or investors.
  • A property is usually open for viewing on a particular day, allowing interested parties to assess.
  • There is no danger of gazumping or a sale collapsing due to the vendor backing out

There are also distinct advantages of selling at auction:

  • Once the auction ends and the hammer falls, contracts are immediately exchanged.
  • Most properties achieve their true market value within the competitive bidding atmosphere of the auction room.
  • Completion is very quick – within 28 days of the auction date.

Auctioneers pay a great deal of attention to effective advertising, placing properties in paper catalogues and online.

Join the discussion 7 Comments

  • vincent waddell says:

    Could you please keep me up to date with any up and coming property auctions for domestic or commercial investment opportunities or any other one off under priced disposals. thanks
    Regards Vincent Waddell

  • Andrew marshall says:

    looking to buy min 3-4 bedroom thank you

  • margaret peacock says:

    can you please e mail me any houses for sale in north belfast thank you margaret peacock

  • Ted Magee says:

    Looking into buying a repossession property in N.Ireland.Old and run down property.

  • Joe Tosh says:

    Could you please keep me up to date with any up and coming property auctions for domestic investment opportunities or any other one off under priced disposals. thanks
    Regards Joe Tosh

  • Sylvia Wilson says:

    Please send me any information of repossesed properties in the Lisburn Area. Thanks.

  • I guess it’s a sign of the times we’re in when repossession is quite common place in a single area like N.Ireland…It’s not even a small part of the world either. I would think the issue may well lay in the banks and building societies not doing enough to qualify potential buyers?

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