Buyers Battle to Secure Farmhouse at Auction
Date of Article
Jun 12 2009

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Bidders battling to win ownership of a Wiltshire farmhouse that had not been on the market for 76 years drove the price beyond £1 million at Carter Jonas' property auction on 10 June, far exceeding the estimate.

Wiltshire farmhouse

Avon View Farm, at The Star, Holt, near Trowbridge, is a Grade II listed stone-built farmhouse with eight bedrooms and set in almost 39 acres of land that goes down to the banks of the River Avon, where there are fishing rights.

When it went under the hammer in Swindon on Wednesday (June 10) the guide price of £800,000 to £850,000 was forgotten as three bidders battled to make sure they became the next owners. After one dropped out, the other two continued until the fight was won with a bid of £1,020,000.

“There was a determined air of excitement as the auction got under way at the Hilton Hotel,” said auctioneer Kit Harding, of Carter Jonas.

“Clearly, there is very much of an appetite for farmhouses even when a fair amount of work is required to bring the property up to modern standards.

“It’s a fascinating house with great potential for the buyers. At present it is divided in two but returning it to its former role as one grand home would not be difficult. The house stands in mature gardens, including a very well tended walled kitchen garden, and there’s also a modern farm building that has potential for equestrian use.

“Living in a grand style would be perfectly feasible. The house has a sweeping driveway to the front and there’s a separate driveway to the south giving access to the farm buildings and land that come with the house.”

Two parcels of land alongside the house were offered as separate lots, each of about six acres with guide prices of £30,000 to £35,000. Again there was strong interest, with both eventually going to the same local buyer. The first lot, with two access points and a former stable yard, achieved £60,000 (£9,836 per acre) and the second, purely pasture, £34,000 (£5,397 per acre).
Among other lots in the sale, The Conifers, in Burbage High Street, a detached listed cottage, once a pair of cottages, needing modernisation and improvement failed to reach its guide price of £200,000 and a three bedroom 1960s linked detached house in Manor Close at Shrivenham with a guide price of £180,000 to £200,000 sold before the auction.

A retail shop in George Street, Warminster, dating back to the 18th Century and Grade II listed, also failed to reach its guide of £190,000 while the sale of land forming two building plots at Barrow Stile, Pilton, near Shepton Mallet, was held back to be included in an auction devoted to Somerset properties in Wells during July.