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Monday 28th of December 2009
February 25, 2008    

Buying at auction? Avoid planning pitfalls

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by Gill Montia

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors has reported a 5% rise in the number of people buying property at auction over the past year, and a leading auction finance firm is warning of a major pitfall for those new to the property auction market.

Auction Finance is aware that some people, who are buying unusual buildings in the hope of converting or redeveloping them, are making expensive mistakes.

The firm’s new business manager, Scott Hendry, says: “Auctions are a great way of picking up unusual properties and we’ve increasingly seen people shunning new build-houses in favour of churches, barns, windmills and schoolhouses to create their individual dream home.”

However, Mr Hendry makes the point that potential bidders should always check the planning status of a site, adding: “A good proportion of properties that are auctioned for redevelopment will have had planning permission of some kind granted before they go under the hammer … where it has not been done it is worth enquiring at your local planning department to find out why before you decide to make a bid. This is an approach we often see from some of our more experienced clients.”

Planning consent secured before auction should increase the value of a site and benefit the vendor, so lots offered for sale without it are worthy of investigation.

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