A vacant Southampton shop with two self-contained flats went under the hammer yesterday for £168,000 in a bidding war.

The freehold property at 36A, B and C Old Northam Road, Northam, was among 19 lots being sold by Clive Emson, the regional land and property auctioneers.

Rob Marchant, auctioneer, said: “There was a bidding war for the property, with the gavel coming down on a final bid of £168,000, which was £28,000 above estimate.”

He added: “Reflecting the season, property seems to be in spring mode and the housing market is now starting to fire on all cylinders.”

Starting at 11am, the third of Clive Emson’s eight regional sales this year takes place at The Ageas Bowl, West End, on Thursday, May 8.