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More investors swap stocks and shares for bricks and mortar

Competition is intensifying among investors for sensibly priced properties, particularly refurbishment opportunities and income-producing homes, as a growing number of investors look for an alternative to the volatility they often risk when investing in the stock market, according to a senior member of Cheffins auction house.

The firm, which specialises in residential sales throughout Cambridgeshire, achieved just over £3.2m worth of property sales at their latest auctions last week, thanks primarily to strong bidding from investors seeking sensibly priced properties.

“The results reinforced the desirability for refurbishment opportunities and income-producing properties throughout the region, as ever-increasing numbers of buyers and investors seek alternatives to stocks and shares,” said Ian Kitson, an associate at Cheffins.


“A cocktail of a growing population, a severe housing shortage and the arrival of some of the world’s largest corporations in the eastern region [of England] has resulted in certain [property] opportunities selling for way over guide prices,” he added.

A retail unit on Chesterton Road, Cambridge, which sold for £484,000 - almost 50% over its guide price of £325,000, was identified by Kitson as the star lot of the day at last week’s sale.

Needing full refurbishment, the property included two retail spaces, an office, a storage room and a one-bedroom flat on the first floor.

A former Methodist Chapel in Exning, near Newmarket which had a total internal area of 2,209 sq ft and came with planning for change of use into residential made £342,000, over its guide price of £325,000.

Another key investment opportunity was School House, the former caretaker’s home at Sudbury Middle School. This needed refurbishment and came with a plot of 0.187 acres and was sold for £246,000.

The highest value lot was a 12.96 acre landfill site in Godmanchester - a small town and civil parish within the Huntingdonshire district of Cambridgeshire - which had full planning for reinstatement into a mineral extraction site. This made £600,000 after competitive bidding from a number of parties. 

Kitson commented: “Bricks and mortar lots were certainly the order of the day at our September auction and we saw some competitive bidding for the best redevelopment and commercial opportunities, which is yet more evidence of the desirability of Cambridge and its surrounds for investment.” 

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    What proof is there that investors are abandoning the stock market to invest in property please? Also the lots mentioned are unusual, not the everyday stuff. I'd suggest Cheffins are just talking up the market, which is surprising as Cambridge usually ignores what's happening in the rest of the UK anyway.


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