The UK housing market is showing signs of cooling as it enters the traditionally calm period in the run-up to Christmas - as happens every year – but there are signs that some property investors are still highly active.
More than £1.65m worth of property sales was achieved at Cheffins’ auction across 13 lots in Cambridge last week, with a sale rate of 77%.
Ian Kitson, an associate at Cheffins, said: “December sales often feature slightly smaller catalogues than the rest of the year, but there was good interest in a range of the lots throughout the marketing period, suggesting that buyers remain motivated regardless of the looming festive period.
“We saw a good turnout on the day and achieved strong prices across the board. The sale rate of 77% appears strong compared to some of the results being reported nationally and we can attribute this to the quality of lots on offer, as well as the popularity of our region.”
Investment properties offering scope for development or with options to renovate attracted the most interest, with competitive bidding and results well over guide prices across multiple properties.
The highest value lot of the day was a development site of 0.2 acres in Westfield Road, Great Shelford, near Cambridge. The site had planning permission for the demolition of an existing bungalow and the creation of two detached houses. The property saw fierce bidding and the site was sold for £419,000 to a local developer.
A similar offering was lot 11, Brickyard Cottage in Bradley Common, near Bishops Stortford. Selling for £8,000 over its guide price of £250,000, the property presented a rare opportunity to purchase a house in need of complete renovation or replacement. At over 0.18 acres, the site is in a desirable village location, with easy access to Bishops Stortford train station.
Kitson added: “Renovation projects and investment opportunities were definitely the most sought-after lots of the day at this month’s auction. Previously the mainstay of property developers, we are actually seeing a shift in the types of person who look to purchase renovation projects, with a larger number of owner-occupiers entering the bidding. Similarly, unusual lots always do well and the Cambridge garage and the woodland in Croydon definitely illustrated this.”