Christ­mas gifts up for grabs to clever bid­ders

De­cem­ber is a good time to buy at auc­tion and if you are cash rich and care­ful, you could pull a Christ­mas cracker.

Yorkshire Post - Property - - PROPERTY - Sharon Dale re­ports.

CHRIST­MAS tra­di­tion­ally brings a slow-down in house sales, but De­cem­ber looks set to be a boom time for homes un­der the ham­mer.

Bar­gains are at­tract­ing wouldbe bid­ders, who have cash and who aren’t afraid of a ren­o­va­tion project.

Most prop­er­ties at auc­tion are in need of work, in­clud­ing a fourbed­room, two-bath­room house on Whit­cliffe Lane in Ripon, which is one of the lots at the next Feather Smailes Scales auc­tion on De­cem­ber 9.

The 1960s’ de­tached home, which comes with a garage and an an­nexe build­ing, has at­tracted 72 view­ings so far, thanks to its guide price of £140,000 to £150,000.

Also at the auc­tion is a twobed­room flat with park­ing, on St Mark’s Av­enue, Har­ro­gate, with a guide price of £110,000,and a twobed­room bun­ga­low in Pan­nal, Har­ro­gate, guided at £200,000.

“We have some ex­cel­lent homes on of­fer, par­tic­u­larly for buy­ers who are look­ing for a rea­son­ably priced prop­erty with devel­op­ment po­ten­tial or an in­vest­ment op­por­tu­nity,” says auc­tion­eer Charles Smailes.

Prop­er­ties usu­ally come from de­ceased es­tates, those des­per­ate for a quick sale and from com­pa­nies in re­ceiver­ship. Houses in need of re­pair are tra­di­tion­ally sent to auc­tion, as are plots of land and re­pos­ses­sions.

Some banks pre­fer to dis­pose of all their re­pos­ses­sions at a sin­gle London auc­tion, so it pays to keep an eye out for those. You can sub­scribe to the Es­sen­tial In­for­ma­tion Group web­site,, for de­tails of all auc­tions na­tion­wide. It’s well worth the fees, which start at £220, plus VAT.

“Those who bring prop­erty to auc­tion want a quick sale. They ac­cept that usu­ally you get a lower price than if you sell through an agent, though there are ex­cep­tions,” says Charles, cit­ing a ter­raced house in Har­ro­gate, guided at £100,000 and sold for £128,000.

In gen­eral, though, says Tony Web­ber, of Leeds-based Ed­dis­ons, cut prices are what bid­ders want and the dif­fer­ence be­tween an es­tate agency val­u­a­tion and an auc­tion guide price is 30 to 40 per cent.

“When the mar­ket was good

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