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Local authority £140m sell-off

publication date: Jul 4, 2010
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Toby LimbrickNetwork Auctions, the fast-growing national property auction group, reports increased activity from local authorities which are putting more and more of their property portfolio into auctions.

“With the pressures on budgets and the need to provide future housing for our growing population, local authorities are increasingly using auctions to release funds which can be invested in new build property and infrastructure improvements,” said Toby Limbrick,(right) Director of Network Auctions.

In 2009 over £136 million of property was sold at auction by local authorities (Essential Information Group) – 65 per cent of which was housing, 16 per cent land, six per cent retail and the rest miscellaneous property. In total 693 lots were offered for sale at auction by 83 local authorities – with an impressive 87.6 per cent success rate! The first quarter of 2010 was roughly on par with last year – with £28.5 million of property sold by local authorities.

Interestingly, the miscellaneous section contains a significant number of closed public conveniences that are now finding keen buyers on the fall of the hammer. One such property sold in Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex is surprisingly now a café while another in Fenny Stratford, Buckinghamshire, is now an office! (See pic left).

Other included sub-stations, parking lots, transport depots, telephone mast sites, libraries, mortuaries, gas kiosks, garages, stores, quarries, offices, public houses, industrial units, odd parcels of land, shops, care homes, hostels, mortuaries and even a gaol – the old Oxford Prison is now a 4-star hotel!