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- What The Papers Say
THE SUNDAY TIMES
Sunday Times property writer Mary Wilson is encouraged
Iliat the erstwhile locked aiid burred doors of property
auctions are now being opened to the public. No longer are
these events the sole domain of developers, landlords and
professional dealers. She writes:
"The auction room is becoming a popular place to buy
and sell property. A property auction can be an excellent
way of getting a bargain. The days are gone when only dealers
bought in the auction room. No longer is it the domain of
sharp dealers and developers looking to make a quick return.
At the beginning of last year I would say 95% of the people
in the room were dealers, in just 12 months that has reduced
to a 60/40 split between dealer and private individual.
There are so many properties to choose from - anything from
a two bedroom miner's cottage to a disused bunker to a former
water mill. A rather nice public loo by Battersea Bridge
in south west London went for just £35,000 before
Christmas. Properties they are selling vary hugely, from
repossessed flats to good quality family houses. The advantage
of an auction is that there's no gazzumping. Two pieces
of land in Monmouthshire which carried the feudal title
of Lord of the Manors of Trelleck and Trelleck Grange went
to a Welshman for £7,750 who claimed he already had
a title and was only interested in the land! These days
auctioneers are doing all they can to help the private individual.
Free surveys and independent legal and financial advice.
Banks too are getting better at organising finance."
BBC Watchdog Finds the Cheapest Flat in Britain
Here's the bargain that everyone hopes to find.
It's a one bedroom flat in Sal ford, Manchester and it's
got double-glazing, central heating, a fitted kitchen and
carpets and it's worth £20,000 on the open market.
But Waqar Arbassi bought it at a house auction for ... £140.
It's the cheapest flat in Britain. And amazingly for his
£140 Waqar also gets to use the building's gym and
Ann McKevil, BBC Watchdog: On The House
THE SUNDAY TIMES
"A £5 billion programme of state scll-offs has
just been ordered by Gordon Brown, the Chancellor - land,
buildings and other assets government departments no longer
need. The Department of the Environment, Transport and the
Regions owns 3,600 houses worth an estimated £250
million, mostly bought by compulsory purchase for road schemes
which have long since been abandoned. Foreign Office assets
include 71 houses or flats for the use of embassy staff
in Washington DC, 49 in Paris and 21 in New York."
A £40,000 Flat Knocked Down For £13,500
A television documentary recently provided detail of a flat,
located in a highly desirable residential area, that was
originally purchased for £49,000. Despite an offer
of £40,000 (indicating the property's current market
value) the building society moved in and repossessed. The
flat was then quietly and quickly put tip for auction where
it fetched just £13,500. Taking Liberties: A Little
Xtra Help, BBC2
"One of the main attractions of house auctions
is the potential for the hard-pressed homebuyer to land
a bargain. One recent survey calculated that buying a property
at auction was 20 per cent cheaper than from estate agents'
windows. Many of the properties at auction are sold for
no other reason than the vendor wanting to move quickly.
It may also be that a home is being sold due to debts, bankruptcy
or repossession or by a housing association that no longer