Britain's "cheapest house" has sold for under £9,000.
two-bedroom terraced property, located on Church Street in the former mining
village of Ferryhill Station, went up for auction last week with a starting
price of just £1. The County Durham home has an estimated value of £30,000, say
experts, but was purchased by a young family for just £8,250.
The house, which stood vacant for 10 years, "was originally
advertised online," according to The
Telegraph, "but failed to attract offers of more than £501". The home is in
need of repair, with boarded-up windows and graffiti-covered walls, but after
refurbishment, it could offer its new owners a profit of up to £21,000.
"As far as I am aware it is the cheapest house in
Britain," the director of the company in charge of the sale commented. "To
give you an idea, a garage in London would have sold for more than this."
Indeed, the gap between London's property market and the
UK's regional real estate has recently become even bigger, according to
Nationwide. The building society's latest report showed that London prices
continued to increase by 2.3 per cent, alongside Scotland and the North, but
"prices fell everywhere else".
As a result, houses in the countryside are becoming
increasingly promising for property investors. While London's values continue
to spiral upwards into the millions - one city garage was actuallly
listed on the market for £1.25m - many buyers are starting to look outside
of the capital for more affordable homes within commuting distance.
"There was a noticeable increase in buyer numbers from
London in the Home Counties this quarter," Yolande Barnes, Head of Savills residential
yesterday, "with 43% of buyers coming from the capital in January to March,
compared with 36% in the final quarter of
For those travelling further afield, house prices are even
lower thanks to the market's "substantial North-South divide", according to
Lloyds TSB. Thanks to the low prices in the North of the UK, the average price for
a city home across the country is £173,202, 5.5 times gross annual average
earnings, found this week's Affordable
Cities Review - the lowest ratio since 2003 (5.3).
But the UK isn't the only country with ultra-low-priced
properties up for sale. Research by Realtor.com for MSNBC.com
revealed that in 10 of America's largest metro markets, there are currently "at least 100
homes listed at $10,000 or below". In Detroit's Motor City, for example, "2,300 homes can be had for $10,000 or cheaper", a figure that actually makes County Durham's record-breaker seem expensive.
29 Church Street may claim to be the cheapest home in Britain, but with
UK property the most affordable it has been in nine years and US house prices hitting
such extreme lows, there's never been a better time to try and beat that record.
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