THE COTSWOLDS’ property auction market is ‘on fire’ with healthy prices being achieved by homes going under the hammer, according to three leading Cirencester estate agents.
While Wednesday’s Spending Review by the Chancellor of the Exchequer (October 20) was sending ripples through the business world, it didn’t deter bidders who flocked to an auction of seven properties at the saleroom of Cirencester estate agents Moore Allen & Innocent.
School House, School Cottage and The School Room at Edgeworth were sold as a single lot for £500,000 – well above the £450,000 guide price. The pair of two-bedroom cottages are linked by the former schoolroom, built in the 1870s and virtually unchanged since the school closed in 1937, and the property was sold with permission to extend and improve the buildings.
Heseldon, at Foxcote, was the subject of a nail-biting finish, with one bidder jumping in with a new offer just before the auctioneer brought his hammer down for the third and final time. Bidding for the two-bed cottage in a lovely rural setting comfortably passed the £225,000 guide price to finish at £240,000.
Two properties were sold outside of the auction process: Vendors accepted a pre-sale offer of £240,000 for 28 The Square in Bibury, a three-bedroom Grade II listed cottage, which carried a guide price of £190,000.
And Brewers Cottage at Duntisbourne Abbots, a two-bedroom detached period cottage with planning consent to extend, and carrying a guide price of £450,000, narrowly missed achieving its reserve at the auction, but was sold later that day, following post-auction negotiations, for £390,000.
Pieces of land also did well at the auction. Thirty nine acres of level pastureland with a centrally located agricultural building at Daglingworth made £266,000 against a £250,000 guide price, while seven and a half acres of pastureland with a steel and concrete agricultural building at Aston Down sold for almost double its £75,000 estimate, at £120,000.
Only two lots remained unsold by the end of the week, with negotiations continuing over a substantial four-bedroom period house in the heart of Cricklade, with a guide price of £275,000.
The sale followed in the wake of an auction held by Paul Grove of Strutt & Parker at the Bibury Court Hotel on October 14, at which Hazelnut Cottage, a three-bedroom cottage in the popular village of Ablington, sold for £560,000 against an £400,000 guide price.
And on Thursday, October 23, at The Inn at Fossebridge, Sam Butler of Butler Sherborn sold The Cow Byre at Birdlip, a barn in 1.5 acres with permission to convert into a two-bedroom house, for £190,000 against a £160,000 guide price.
He also brought down the hammer on Wookey Tump, a two-bedroom detached cottage at Chedworth, which was sold for £345,000 – £20,000 above the guide price and considerably more than the £2,975 paid for the property when it last changed hands 40 years ago.
Following the auctions, Roy Bowyer of Moore, Allen & Innocent said: “Nationally, 68 percent of properties that go to auction are being sold. On Wednesday, six out of eight lots presented by us for auction were sold and we are hopeful for a seventh.
“Our colleagues in other agencies are also reporting excellent results.
“Property auctions are an excellent barometer of the value of homes and land in the Cotswolds, because you can gauge exactly what buyers are willing to pay. What we can say is that, at the moment, the Cotswold property auction market is buoyant.
“Anyone who has a property to sell – perhaps one that is in need of modernisation or renovation – should feel confident about bringing it to auction.”