London's spring auctions are ideal for resourceful buyers
Bargain-hunting first-time buyers and families stepping up the ladder will welcome the tantalising mix of homes going under the hammer in the first property auctions of the spring.
Spring auction dates
"The market is hot for good London postcodes," says Paul Mooney of Savills, which is offloading handsome ex-council houses in gentrifying parts of the inner city that are ripe for a modern makeover.
These include charming mid-terrace Victorian houses at Imperial Square, Fulham, close to Kings Road (guide price, £525,000).
Other highlights include large, unmodernised Victorian semis in the coveted “toast rack” area of Wandsworth Common (guide price, £1.5 million) and a listed “blue plaque” house in Stockwell, guide price £475,000, where artist Vincent Van Gogh once lived.
A splendid double-fronted detached Georgian house in The Butts conservation area of Brentford has a guide price £900,000, while in leafy Streatham, Victorian houses are on the market for the first time in over 80 years (guide prices from £365,000) as a result of an executor sale.
Eye-catching repossessions going under the hammer include penthouses overlooking Royal Victoria Dock, around the river bend from Canary Wharf (guide prices from £420,000) and an imposing Victorian house sitting in a sizeable plot on Mount View Road, one of Crouch End’s best addresses (through Allsop - guide price, £900,000).
Resourceful buyers searching for a one-off architectural project have plenty to excite them. Small development plots include a garage site at Mountgrove Road, Highbury (guide price, £15,000) while a double-fronted building currently arranged as bedsits on Seagrave Road, alongside Earls Court Exhibition Centre, which is due for redevelopment, has a guide price of £690,000.
“Auctioneers are setting realistic reserves (the minimum sale price) and are being more selective in the instructions they take in order to generate sales,” says David Sandeman of Essential Information Group, an auction analyst. During February, 72 per cent of properties available at auction actually sold, down from a peak of more than 80 per cent four years ago.