Friday, 2 November 2012

Auction oddballs - Bath, Luton and Hastings

Given the press coverage of the £750 house that sold for £14k, I thought I'd spin things around today and give you a flavour of what's happening with auction prices at the moment.
Auction properties are picking up a lot of interest. We're more willing to have a punt and hope for a bargain at auction, and that's reflected in the businesses and websites dedicated to property auctions.
However, don't assume auctions mean bargains - straightforward houses are generally selling for close to or within 20 percent of the guide price. And weirder properties, like the ones I've picked here, can sell for three to four times the guide price - as long as they're in the right location.
The pic at the top is a one room former telephone repeater station sold off by Luton Borough Council. I think 'dinky' sums it up, however it's in decent area of Luton and came with half-an-acre of land. The initial guide price started at £10k, that was later revised to £15-£20k and it finally sold for £62k.
Luton Council also sold this former store (below), with a surprisingly pleasant garden area, at auction. Again, good location and  it sold for £75k - three times the original guide price of £20k-£30k.

How about living in a cemetery? Below is the rather more imposing St James Cemetery Lodge, in leafy Bath.

At least this one is a proper house - two reception, kitchen, two beds and bath, plus a nice garden wrapped around two sides. It's beautiful building and the guide price of £60-£80k was a bargain for Bath. The guide price, or location, clearly attracted interest because it actually sold for £164k.
And what isn't selling well? Poor locations, real wrecks and big commercial buildings. Like this one - the old Observer Building, in Hastings (below).

The ex-print works is an enormous, eight storey building of over 41,000 sq ft and has stayed empty since 1989, while multiple owners have lodged various planning applications but never carried through to build. It was up for auction with a guide price of £200-£400k but failed to sell.  Details here and some rather scary Urbex pix here - but you can see the sea from its upper floors!