For sale by auction: garden square in Central London

The auction season kicks off with surprise sales and big bargains
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A freehold garden square in the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea is among the fabulous and unusual bargains that are set to open the autumn auction season with a big bang next week.

Auction sellers are on the back foot, spooked by the prediction of sliding property prices. But their anxiety will be some else’s opportunity as a tantalising mix of properties goes under the hammer: unmodernised period houses, cheap repossessions, recent new-builds, country cottages, seaside apartments, inner-city wrecks, buy-to-let investments and plots of land — and that freehold garden square.

Philbeach Gardens is a private crescent-shaped green space tucked away behind Earls Court exhibition centre. The 2.5-acre plot is owned by a private individual and is being sold without a guide price.

“It’s a tricky one to value and the price will be determined by the buyer and what they intend doing with the site,” says Stuart Gayer of Allsop. Development potential is restricted by two Acts of Parliament but underground excavation is not prevented. An income from events is a possible source of revenue. Residents of properties overlooking the square are part of a management committee and will no doubt oppose attempts to restrict access.

Properties in general are priced to sell.“There’s a mood of realism. These homes should not hang around on the market,” says Paul Mooney of Savills.

Disposals by housing associations and local councils are among the most enticing lots for first-time buyers or owners who want to trade up.

London boroughs including Hammersmith & Fulham, Lambeth, Lewisham, Islington and Southwark are offloading handsome terrace houses. A six-bedroom Georgian town house in Clapton Square, Hackney, currently arranged as two maisonettes, has a guide price of £330,000. Another in Islington’s De Beauvoir conservation area has a guide of £550,000.

Receivers are selling a two-bedroom mansion flat in Manor House, Marylebone, guide price, £400,000. Another at Queen’s Club Gardens, close to the tennis club, is up for £350,000.

An ex-council flat at Gaywood Street, Elephant & Castle, is estimated at £100,000. The top-floor maisonette has two bedrooms.

Auction dates
Savills, September 13
Allsop, September 14 and 16
Clive Emson, September 17
Andrews & Robertson, September 21

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