London's October property auctions: New Cross, Shadwell and Finchley

Auction expert Sam Collett take a look at what is coming up at this month's property auctions and discovers commercial and residential opportunities in New Cross, Shadwell and Finchley
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Freehold supermarket and commercial investment in New Cross, London, SE14
Guide price:
Who: Allsop Commercial
What: 33/35 Lewisham Way, New Cross, London, SE14 6PP
Auction details: 16 October 2013 at Park Lane Hotel, Piccadilly, London, W1J

Properties offering blue chip tenant income and the potential for future development don’t usually come hand in hand, which makes this freehold building in New Cross with a guide of £850,000-£900,000 an extremely attractive lot.

Arranged over three floors, the ground floor and part of the first floor is currently let to Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Limited until 2027 at an annual rent of £47,500 (rent review due in 2017). The remainder of the first floor and second floor are accessed separately and are let as offices currently occupied by a church paying £23,000 per annum. With a total combined income of £70,500 – the income yields are healthy.

But if you want to cash in on the potential development angle there could be an opportunity to convert the upper office floors to residential (subject to consents). Given the government are keen to support office-to-resi conversions, this could prove a great time to apply. The lease for the offices expires in 2014, which gives ample opportunity to start drawing up plans.

Lewisham Way is located in the heart of New Cross, just moments from New Cross and New Cross Gate train stations (zone 2).

Two-bedroom flat in Shadwell, London E1
Guide price: £100,000+
Who: MS Auctions
What: 115 Shadwell Gardens, Shadwell, London, E1 2QJ
Auction details: 14 October 2013, Kensington Town Hall, Hornton Street, London, W8 7NX

If you’re looking for a City pad without a City price tag, this two-bedroom flat in Shadwell with a guide price of £100,000 may be right on the money.

Shadwell Gardens is a low-rise, purpose-built block located just moments away from Shadwell DLR/Underground (zone 2), giving easy access to the City and Canary Wharf.

At the time of writing, the auctioneers have been unable to gain access to the property and so the internal condition is unknown – but the flat is currently tenanted at £800 a month. This rent seems low for the area, so there could be room for improvement.

The £100,000 guide price seems incredibly cheap, given comparable properties are on the market starting at £230,000. However, it’s prudent to note the vendor has been served with notice of renovation works and the contribution for this property will be approximately £40,000, plus £7,000 for service charges. This means you’ll need a wedge of cash ready to contribute (although loans are sometimes available).

Even with the upcoming works, bought at the right price, this could be an ideal investment for both a buy-to-let investor or owner occupier. The location offers great value for money and excellent transport links.

Freehold building in Finchley, London N12
Guide price: £375,000-£400,000
Who: Allsop Commercial
What: Laurel House, 12 Woodside Lane, Finchley, London N12 8RG
Auction details: 16 October 2013, Park Lane Hotel, Piccadilly, London W1J 7BX)

It’s difficult to find passive property investments, but this freehold mixed commercial and residential building with a guide price of £375-400,000 could offer healthy returns for minimal effort.

Laurel House is arranged as a ground-floor funeral parlour with residential accommodation on the upper floors. The entire building has been let at £27,500 per annum on a full repairing and insuring lease for 15 years to Funeral Partners Ltd. That means all maintenance and insurance is down to the tenants – which is about as hands-free as you can get in property investment. The lease also provides for rent reviews every fifth year of the term and unusually for a commercial premises, VAT is not applicable.

Owning a building let to a funeral business may not be up everybody’s street. But, the property has great potential and in addition to the residential flat above, benefits from a conservatory, garden, rear yard, lock-up garage and parking area. And it’s located in a popular residential suburb.

Woodside Lane is well located for access to transport links with Woodside Park tube (zone 4) just over half a mile away.

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