AN ESTATE agent has turned to selling houses at auction as the housing market struggles.
The sale at the Ramada Jarvis hotel saw nearly £1.3m worth of property go under the hammer.
And organiser Peter Humphreys, owner of Humphrey’s Estate Agents, Lower Bridge Street, Chester, said property values have now fallen to such an extent that there are genuine bargains out there for investors and first time buyers.
He said: “I’ve had four auctions now and we’ve got a 90% success rate selling £6.6m worth of properties.
“There are about 250 people attending each auction. At some of the open days some properties attract between 25 and 30 people.
“It seems to have hit the market at the right time. It fires people’s imagination that in a difficult housing market, they get a bargain.
“We cover Cheshire, North Wales and Shropshire so its a growing geographically as well as in volume. It’s a very positive thing.”
A property in Becketts Lane, Boughton sold for £284,000 shattering its top estimate of £240,000 at the last auction. At the other end of the scale, a house in Saltney Ferry sold for its reduced guide price of £75,000.
In the housing business for 37 years, it is the third recession Peter has had to battle through.
He added: “The auctions are a total adaptation to the housing market rather than banging away at normal house prices. I have a sales team, a letting team and an auction team. I can imagine it will be a three-way split fairly soon.”
The next auction will be held on June 17.