Alternative investment options and residential homes to attract interest at auction

Cheffins second property auction of the year will see 19 lots auctioned on Wednesday 21st June at the firm's sale room in Cambridge.

The auction will include a variety of alternative investment options, varying from a former ambulance station, a village hall and a disused fruit packing depot which will be available alongside a series of residential and mixed-use properties.


The highest value lot in the June sale is 0.52 acres of strategic land in Ipswich. Formerly the distribution depot of JJ Wilson Ltd, the local fruit and vegetable packing business, it now has allocation in the Local Plan for up to 18 new homes. It has been in the ownership of the same family since the 1950s and originally comprised of a number of terraced houses which were demolished to make way for the depot which is now in place. The site is positioned less than 200 metres to the east of the Neptune Marina and the new University of Suffolk Campus, it carries a guide price of £500,000.  

One of the lots set to generate the most interest is the iconic Former Ambulance Station in Soham, near Ely, which is expected to fetch over £15,000. Built in the 1920s, it is a well-known feature within the town and is situated on Fountain Lane, opposite the Fountain Inn. It measures approximately 430 sq ft and could suit a variety of uses.  

Another property set to see competitive bidding is 1 & 1A Oxford Street, Exning, near Newmarket. This includes an attractive lock-up shop and two self-contained residential flats. Previously a beauty salon, it is in need of complete refurbishment but offers potential to reinstate the shop and generate a rental income from the two flats. The ground floor flat, known as ‘The Cottage,’ has a sitting room, kitchen, dining area, shower room and a bedroom. The first floor flat has three bedrooms, a kitchen, vaulted sitting room and a bathroom. The property has a gross internal area of 2,262 sq ft and is offered for sale with a guide price of £150,000. It is expected to generate interest from local developers and end-users looking to obtain a steady rental income.  

Kentford Village Hall, near Newmarket is also set to go under the hammer. It was built in the 1890’s as the village’s primary school and has not been used for the past ten years. The building now has outline planning permission for demolition and is to be replaced by two, three-bedroom detached houses on the 0.3 acre site. The combined villages of Kentford and Kennett are in the process of building a new village hall in replacement. It has a guide price of £250,000.  

For those looking for a buy-to-let investment, there is a property in Risby, five miles from Bury St Edmunds, which contains three flats and two garages. The flats all have one bedroom and generate a current rental income of £18,500 per annum.  

Another village building which is set to be sold is 2 Chilton Grove Bungalow in Chilton Grove near Sudbury. This pre-fabricated property was built as a personnel hut during the First  World War within the now disused Chilton Airfield before it was converted into a house in the 1990’s. It is now in a derelict condition and currently comprises of an entrance hall; two bedrooms; a sitting room; a kitchen and a bathroom, on a 0.3 acre plot. It has a guide price of £90,000 and offers potential for extension or replacement, subject to planning permission.  

On the residential side, there are a number of properties to be sold at auction. The first is 8 Radegund Road, Cambridge which is a substantial semi-detached property with five bedrooms, in a popular south city location. It is in need of marginal updating and has a guide price of £500,000. There is also a third floor apartment with two bedrooms in Chesterton, Cambridge with a guide price of £170,000. These lots are expected to generate interest from owner-occupiers and investors who are looking to capitalise on Cambridge’s consistent capital growth and strong rental market.  

As for village properties, there is a two bedroom semi-detached cottage in Sawston. Dove House Cottage which has a pretty exterior and is subject to a Rent Act Tenancy with a lifetime tenant in place, making it a good opportunity for a long term investor/buyer. It carries a guide price of £140,000. Another example is a two bedroom detached cottage with a large mature garden in the pretty rural village of Helions Bumpstead on the Cambridgeshire/Suffolk/Essex borders. It has a guide price of £150,000 and is likely to attract an owner-occupier.  

Mixed-use properties made record prices in Cheffins’ March auction and on offer in June is a two-storey property on Soham High Street which offers both a ground floor office and a three bedroom residential flat above. It has a potential rental income of £21,600 per annum when fully occupied and currently the office space is being let by Saffron Insurance Ltd. For those looking for a long-term, alternative investment there is a ground rent on offer for purchase at Greenstead Road in Colchester which yields £450 per annum and has a guide price of £5,000.  

Ian Kitson, Director, Cheffins comments: “This auction sees something for all budgets, with options on ground rents for those looking for steady and reliable alternative investments coupled with strategic land lots which are likely to be snapped up by developers. I expect small – medium developers to be interested in sites such as Kentford Village Hall or Risby which offer strong investment types within reliable marketplaces. The residential properties are likely to generate interest from those looking to buy property in Cambridge and capitalise on the city’s astronomical capital growth or buyers looking to snap up a bargain. We have seen an increased number of owner-occupiers looking to buy homes at auction as well as first time buyers who are finding that it is one of the easiest ways to get onto the property ladder.”  

There is also almost 100 acres of grass and farmland available in the Cambridge region, split over five parcels.  

The auction will take place on the 21st June from 2pm at Cheffins, Clifton House, 1&2 Clifton Road, Cambridge, CB1 7EA.   Cheffins March auction generated a total of £4.2m in sales.     

For further media information, please contact Sophie Richardson, PR Manager, Cheffins, t: 01223 271290

Kentford Village Hall



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