Bidders spend £6.83m in a day at property auction

September 4, 2008

Bidders spent a total of £6.83m, much of it on two Wiltshire farms, during a two stage Dreweatt Neate property auction in September.

At the first, held during the afternoon at the Bear Hotel in Devizes, the audience in the packed ballroom watched as a local farmer secured Down Farm, between Pewsey and Everleigh, for £3.6m.

The 500 acre farm has outbuildings and a pair of cottages but no farmhouse, although planning permission has been granted to build one.

The auction moved venues to the Hilton Hotel at Swindon for an evening sale, where the room was again packed. The audience spent another £3.23m between them.

“There was enthusiastic bidding for properties which owners obviously wanted to sell and where realistic reserve prices had been set as a result,” said auctioneer Charles Lucas.

“The sale clearly demonstrates there are people out there who want to buy the right property. In the current market, the essentials are character or individuality or something that offers the prospect of a project to which the buyer can add value.
“Having read the market correctly, that was exactly the line-up of lots we had achieved and as a result we were able to record an 80 per cent success rate, selling 17 of the lots offered having negotiated some sales before and after the auction.
“The farm sale demonstrates there will always be demand for quality agricultural land – no matter what the economic climate, people still have to eat!”

The second Wiltshire farm sold at the auction is Wick Farm, at Heddington Wick, near Calne. It has a prominent position in the hamlet at the head of the Common with extensive views to the Marlborough Downs and Cherhill White Horse.
“This is a different type of property from Down Farm but current experience shows that it is still a type very much in demand,” Mr Lucas said.

“The farmhouse has been unoccupied for 19 years and needs complete renovation but the adjoining stables and other outbuildings have great potential for creating additional accommodation and there are also buildings that are suitable for a change of use to equestrian, subject to consents. Top guide price was £750,000 but the farm, in four lots, made a total of £909,000.

“On a smaller scale, 2, Purton Stoke, near Swindon, a two bedroom cottage with an adjoining grass paddock, giving the property a total size of 1.3 acres, sold for £174,000. In Swindon itself, 188, Ermin Street, Stratton St. Margaret, a three bedroom Victorian semi-detached house needing modernisation and sitting in a quarter acre with outline planning permission for two dwellings, sold for £270,000.

“In Gloucestershire, a property called The Meadows at Alvington, between Lydney and Chepstow, sold for £385,000, while three parcels of pasture at Holt, near Trowbridge, totalling 45 acres demonstrated the continuing demand by making a total of £258,000.”
Entries are now being invited for the next sale, to be held at Swindon on December 8.

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