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Auction watch: April 2021.

06 May 2021 | 5 min

With it far from certain whether or not overseas holidays will be permitted this year, the Great British seaside holiday is having a renaissance.

Nervousness around foreign travel, different tax rules for holiday lets and the Stamp Duty holiday have combined forces to make investing in a holiday home, holiday let or holiday business more appealing for many. So we’ve been watching the property auctions throughout April and can now bring you some holiday hotspot lots that caught our eye.

Is this the Great British seaside break’s last hurrah, or the beginning of a new relationship with holidays on home-soil?

The bolthole
5 Maxstoke Court, Middle Warberry Road, Torquay, Devon

Perfect for an older couple keen to enjoy the English Riviera’s fine summer weather, this one-bedroomed flat in a converted period property is the perfect place to lay your hat after enjoying the harbour’s attractions.

With so much on your doorstep, all you really need is somewhere to sleep – so we think it could best be thought of as a spacious studio, with the bedroom reimagined as a cosy TV room. The kitchen and bathroom are serviceable but dated so need a refresh, and beyond that it’s just décor. What’s not to like?

Add in car parking and a door onto the well-kept communal gardens, it’s small but perfectly formed – and sold right on its guide price at £65,000. It’s entirely feasible that a homeowner with sufficient equity in their primary residence could have bought this without having to stump up any more cash than their auction deposit and fees.

The country pub and guesthouse
Samson Inn, Brampton, Cumbria

Situated just 50 metres from the Hadrian’s Wall National Trail, the Samson Inn could appeal to aspiring publicans looking to take advantage of Brits’ newfound love for walking.

Already set up with four tastefully-decorated guest rooms and with scope for further development of some unused attic storage, this semi-commercial property is the ultimate ‘work from home’ opportunity.

It was guided at £320,000, through the Modern Method of auction. This differs from the typical ‘unconditional sale’ you often see, in that you don’t exchange contracts on the fall of the gavel (and which leaves you with 28 days, at most, to complete). Instead, you win the right to exchange and complete at any point within 56 days – which, crucially, gives you longer to secure any finance you need.

While this form of auction does mean you don’t have to pay the usual 10% deposit immediately (i.e. you can withdraw should you, for example, later discover something in the paperwork that changes your mind), but there are usually larger auction fees payable – and these are non-refundable.

The cash buy
Flat 4, 15 Lumley Avenue, Skegness, Lincolnshire

“Who needs Auction finance when you’ve got a credit card?” may have entered bidders’ minds before they started competing over this property, which was offered at a guide price of just £10,000+. It needs total redecoration but seems in good general order, and sits on a well-kept, tree-lined street.

Skegness may seem unfashionable compared to the sunnier resorts of the Southwest, but still receives more than a million visitors annually. So this flat could prove attractive to savvy holiday let investors or those looking for an affordable second home.

That attractiveness was born out in the auction, and a brief bidding war meant the gavel fell at £38,000.

The bargain beachside building plot
Studley, Bush Estate, Eccles-on-Sea, Norfolk

There’s a joke in Norfolk that Eccles-on-Sea is more like ‘Eccles-in-the-Sea’ – much of the ancient fishing village was swallowed by coastal erosion before sea defences were installed.

Situated roughly equidistant between the popular destinations of Great Yarmouth and Cromer, it offers a secluded spot for holidaymakers to relax and unwind.

In fact all that really remains of Eccles-on-Sea is the Bush Estate, originally a holiday park of 200 or so pre-war bungalows, tucked safely behind the sand dunes. Many of the original structures have been upgraded or replaced with more permanent constructions – but Studley is not one of them.

This old-fashioned timber chalet sits on a large plot with scope to be entirely redeveloped or replaced. Equivalent chalets in top condition rent for hundreds of pounds per week in high season, so this £50,000+ listing is perhaps best thought of as a building plot.

It sold for £96,000.

The B&B-to-be
61 High Street, Hastings, East Sussex

The appeal of Brighton and Eastbourne remain well-advertised, but head slightly further east on the south coast and you’ll find this potential goldmine in under-the-radar Hastings.

Advertised at £320,000+, this 10-bedroom maisonette is situated above a convenience shop and came with planning permission for conversion to a B&B. In a truly fantastic location in Hastings Old Town, facing out onto café-culture streets and metres from the beach, it’s a unique opportunity – particularly as Hastings’s position on the edge of the High Weald AONB means new development is very limited.

The building itself needs work – new windows, and fresh paint at the very least – and the existing layout doesn’t work. But the dual staircases (detailed on the floorplan) does mean there could be an easy delineation between guest space and the owner’s accommodation.

Semi-commercial or mixed-use properties like these can be tricky to secure finance on, although this is something we at Together specialise in.

The city-centre pad
5 Rehearsal Rooms, 115-119 Westgate Rd, Newcastle-upon-Tyne

Not all holiday lets were created equal, and this city-centre apartment in Newcastle-upon-Tyne is a great example.

The ‘Airbnb’ boom means urban properties like this are appealing short-term lets for groups of friends descending on the city for a short break – whether that’s for a weekend’s shopping and socialising, a football six-pointer or a big event.

Situated next to the Tyne Theatre and a stone’s throw from the O2 Academy, it’s in a fantastic location. It needs renovating before it’s ready to welcome revellers, but guided at £100,000 it representing fantastic value. Another flat in the same building is currently available to rent at £825pcm, but Airbnb properties on Westgate Road can command almost £200/night over the weekends.

The lot was withdrawn prior to sale, so we expect to see this going back to auction in the coming weeks.

The Welsh wonder
2 Pyllau Dwr, Llanberis, Gwynedd

Nestled at the edge of the Snowdonia National Park and boasting incredible mountain views, this secluded North Wales cottage would make a fantastic holiday let for adventurous and active families who enjoy hiking, mountain biking and watersports.

With a guide price of £260,000+, it boasts a four bedrooms, parking for several cars, outbuildings and ancillary rooms that could make a great gaming space or teenage hangout.

It’s largely a redecoration job, and the kitchen and bedrooms look in generally good order, with perhaps the bathrooms needing the most investment. It could well be worth it, though – a week’s summer break for a family of six in a Llanberis holiday cottage can top £1,300.

Interested in doing something similar?

We offer a wide range of finance options – whether you’re buying at auction, investing in a B&B, investing in a holiday let, or looking at a holiday home for you and family.

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