At last! The price is right

The start of autumn’s auction season sees thousands of bargain-priced homes up for sale.
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A two bedroom tower block flat for £20,000 in Margate is among the bargains that will undoubtedly be going, going, going, gone at the autumn auctions. At last, the auction market is starting to seriously reflect the correction in prices and coastal property is among the tempting offers.

Values are back to the level of 2004/5, according to auction firm Savills, and there are opportunities to pick up genuine bargains. More than 5,000 repossessions have already been sold at auction during 2008 and the number is likely to soar during the coming months, says David Sandeman of auction analyst Essential Information Group.

This company has a repossession search facility on its website and allows buyers to identify suitable properties through an “auction alerts” service (

'Past sales have proved that old public loos make fantastic one-off commercial premises'

London estate agent Spicerhaart is selling the Margate flat - one of 200 lots in a new auction venture with internet site The first West End auction is at Café Royal, Regent Street, on 30 September.

Britons are also going online to shop for their holiday homes and cheap repossessions in Florida, where values have dropped by up to 50 per cent because of the country’s sub-prime disaster. Properties valued from £163,000 to £2.1 million go under the hammer on 25 October at an auction in Reunion, close to the Orlando tourist attractions. These properties include luxury vacation homes at beach and golf resorts such as Hammock Beach on Florida’s east coast.

The auction is being conducted by Stirling Sotheby’s International Realty in association with mortgage broker British Homes Group. For more information, visit

Repossessions make up 53 per cent of the total 438 properties going under the hammer at Allsop’s next auction. These include cut-price new-build flats as well as older properties in London and the Home Counties, coastal towns, the West Country and northern cities. Public toilets in Fulham’s North End Road are among several quirky properties being auctioned by Savills on 27 October.

“Past sales have proved that old public loos make fantastic one-off commercial premises,” says the firm’s Paul Mooney. The guide price is £90,000. Also for sale is a detached lodge house at Hammersmith Cemetery - guide price, £250,000.

Highlights include a listed Georgian town house in Kennington - guide price, £575,000 - and a two-bedroom Edwardian mansion flat in Maida Vale - guide price, £525,000.

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