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Drop in the number of home auctions in Northern Ireland

The number of homes going under the hammer in Northern Ireland has fallen by more than half in the first quarter of the year.

Just 102 properties went to auction, compared to 218 a year ago – signalling a drop of 53.2 per cent .

Money raised was 70 per cent  down, at £3.4 million from £10.9 million in the first three months of last year.

The number of homes sold was also down to 49 compared to 109 in the first quarter of last year, a fall of 55 per cent. The percentage of lots sold also dropped 4 per cent  from 50 per cent to 48 per cent.

The figures reflect a general UK trend of flat performance in the first quarter for homes at auction.

The statistics come from EIG Property Auctions, a firm that monitors residential and commercial property auctions throughout the UK.

“The number of residential lots offered and sold dropped by 22 per cent in March, whilst residential auction receipts were down almost £90 million (-30 per cent). The commercial market seemingly fared worse still; fewer than half the number of lots were offered and sold in March when compared with last year, whilst commercial receipts dropped by over 41 per cent  to £68.3 million,” said a spokesman.

“In both sectors, however, there were several major auctioneers that chose to hold their spring auction in April this year compared to March last year. Whilst this doesn't fully account for the large falls witnessed below, it's certainly an attributing factor.”

Across the UK, 5,466 homes went to auction in the first quarter of the year, a reduction of 12 per cent from 6,357 in the same period last year.

Buyers snapped up 4,080 homes, down 14.6 per cent from 4,777 in the first three months of last year, while the price paid dropped from £755 million to £592 million.