Historic houses and buildings all over the country are up for sale due to desperate town halls trying to save money. Hundreds of Historic buildings are being sold off by desperate councils due to the government cuts that are being imposed upon them. Councils are trying to raise extra funds and one of the easiest ways to do this is to sell these buildings that would otherwise be costly to maintain.
St Giles’s Hospital in Camberwell, south London is a Grade II listed building which is set to be auctioned off by the council. It is thought to be going for a rock bottom price because Southwark council feel that it is too costly to maintain. Also in south London are two Georgian terraces in Greenwich up for auction. In Rotherham a public swimming baths is also being sold off as is Conisbrough Priory near Doncaster, Doncaster Council have put the Priory up for auction at a guide price of £275,000. The swimming baths in Rotherham have a lower guide price of £150,000.
All of these buildings are an ideal opportunity for shrew buyers to snap up whilst they can as they are being offered at a bargain price, according to investment experts. For example in February Lluesty Hospital in North Wales sold at auction for £275,000, the building was of a classical style and had a court yard and parapet. Property developers bought the building and they now plan to build 70 houses in the 7.4 acre grounds that came with the hospital.
One auction house confirmed that in their London and Yorkshire offices 14 councils had listed 100 of their properties for their most recent auction. Central Government is also selling some of its buildings with sales totalling £115million just in the last nine months. They have been selling many historic buildings such as the former Land Registry headquarters in Lincoln’s Inn Fields in London.
Property experts are warning small developers not to take too big a risk with some of the historic buildings as they may be too large and dilapidated for the amateur self builder to even contemplate. Other smaller buildings might be more manageable for them though. A perfect example for the small self builder was a split level three bedroom flat in East Dulwich in south London which Southwark Council sold in February for £240,000. The average price for a house in the area is £366,000.
Coastal councils also have to sell off property to reduce debts. A cottage next to the Tate in St Ives in Cornwall is on sale at the moment for just £150,000. Investment analysts are recommending that those interested in these properties need to keep tabs on different auction catalogues to see what is being put into auction and then they can decide if they want to buy. If what you are looking for is put into auction but does not attract a lot of interest they you may find yourself a bargain.
However campaigners are warning that with councils selling off hundreds of these historic buildings to developers they may be putting British architectural heritage at risk. They worry that those buildings not sold will end being boarded up simply to reduce running costs.