Squatters help with viewings of Old Vicarage

Squatters are helping with viewings of a Victorian vicarage in Islington ahead of the Savills summer auction next week
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£950,000 (guide) the Old Vicarage
£950,000 (guide): the Old Vicarage (lot 20) stars in the Savills summer auction on Monday 27 July
Auctions are often “curate’s eggs” - good only in parts - but the Old Vicarage, a handsome detached double-fronted house in an Islington conservation area, could have a lion stamped on it.

This classic Victorian vicarage, next to St Peter’s Church, in De Beauvoir Square, goes under the hammer on Monday 27 July 2009, with a guide price of £950,000.

Previously owned by a housing association, the ivy-clad vicarage sits in a sizeable walled garden and has spacious accommodation over four levels. But modernisation will be needed.

“Currently it’s occupied by squatters but they are due to be evicted this week and are actually helping us with the viewings,” says Chris Coleman-Smith, of auctioneers Savills. “It will make a cracking family home. We’ve also had enquiries from a potential buyer who is considering turning it into a Montessori nursery school.”

The location is not Islington’s best address but is popular with gentrifiers. Estate agent Foxtons is selling a smaller four-bedroom house in the garden square for £1.125 million.

The listed Gothic-style home is one of several eye-catching properties in Savills’ July auction. Other lots include a picturesque lock house alongside the Lee Navigation in Hertford, and a whitewashed stone cottage in the fishing village of Port Isaac in Cornwall.

British Waterways is selling the Hertford lock house, which comes with a “realistic” reserve price of £95,000, according to Mr Coleman-Smith, while the three-bedroom Cornwall cottage - guide price, £150,000 - is likely to get snapped up by a second-home buyer.

Other Savills sale highlights (www.savills.co.uk/auctions) are a one-bedroom Peabody flat in Westminster (guide price, £240,000) and a Victorian railway works in Bath, with approval for conversion (guide price, £450,000).

New houses with berths on the Isle of Wight are being sold by auction firm Clive Emson (www.cliveemson.co.uk), while run-down rural cottages and barns ripe for renovation are in the latest Ward auction (www.wardandpartners.co.uk).

For more properties for sale by auction, click here

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