The buzz at Online Property Auctions Scotland HQ is almost tangible at the moment…
Why? Well in less than two weeks we will be exhibiting at the Property Investor Show in London.
This will be our first visit to the show, which is held annually at the ExCeL in London’s Docklands. As one of the first post-lockdown property trade shows, this is a great chance for both sellers and buyers to meet face-to-face after two years of virtual meetings.
We will also be conducting live online property auctions on both Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd April, during the show, so this is a chance for you to see how the online auction process works…as it actually happens.
Are you attending the Property Investor Show? Come and visit us at stand 118 or get in touch and book in a meeting time with our team. We’re in attendance throughout the full show.
An online property auction company has declared Kirkcaldy as one of its most popular towns for buying and selling property.
Online Property Auctions Scotland has sold a total of eight properties in Kirkcaldy since it was founded in 2019, despite the coronavirus pandemic, with sales totalling £617,000 in the town.
Managing Director George Douglas said: ‘We launched the company just before Covid-19 hit, so it has been an enormous challenge for most businesses to survive and thrive. However, we have continued to sell properties, with Fife being a particularly fruitful part of Scotland for us. Indeed, the very first property we sold at auction was what can only be described as a shed, in St Andrews, for £46,000. Our Sales Manager Gary is from Glasgow but now knows Fife like the back of his hand simply due to the volume of business we are doing here…’
Online Property Auctions Scotland has sold five properties in Kirkcaldy High Street alone, including 249 High Street which has housed Barnardo’s for well over 20 years now.
George added: ‘Despite predictions of the ‘death of the high street’ throughout the UK it’s hopefully some cause for optimism that we continue to sell town centre units, and that property investors continue to see potential in the centre of Kirkcaldy. We were delighted when the Barnardo’s unit sold as this will ensure the store remains a fixture of the High Street for years to come – Barnardo’s tenure will carry on with the new owner.’
‘We have ambitious plans for expansion this year and beyond, and Fife will play a big part in that. We don’t charge any fees to sell property via our online auctions, so we would encourage anyone in Kirkcaldy or further afield looking to sell residential or commercial property to get in touch.’
This article appeared in Fife Today. Credit Allan Crow.
Measuring just eight metres by two and with a distinct lack of mod cons, it is certainly what estate agents might like to say is on the “compact and bijou” side.
For years, the tiny telephone exchange building on the outskirts of the small hamlet of Ardeonaig in Perthshire did a fine job helping to keep communications flowing.
Now, however, the disused stone building overlooking Loch Tay has astounded its owner and the online auction firm that has just sold it, after smashing its initial £15,000 guide price by around six times that amount.
The rather snug building – a little longer but barely wider than the average domestic garage – attracted international interest as bidders battled it out before it finally went under the hammer for £85,000.
The price is roughly the same as some two-bedroom properties currently on the market in towns such as Dunoon and Glenrothes, Fife.
While the telephone exchange accommodation might be far more basic than a home – there’s no running water, toilet facilities or heating for a start – the location, overlooking the loch and with Ben Lawers towering in the distance, certainly had a lot to do with the final price.
The Covid-fuelled boom in Scottish rural holidays and even the growing trend for “huts” – secluded and basic accommodation offering an escape into the wilderness – are also thought to have inspired interest in the small building.
According to auctioneer George Douglas, of seller Online Property Auctions Scotland, the unusual property became the focus of heated interest within minutes of its details being posted online.
“Within an hour we had people trying to buy it for £25,000,” he said.
“At that point we knew it would sell for quite a good price, but it ended up outstripping anything we have seen in a while.
“Enquiries were coming in from all over the UK and abroad. We had between 500 and 600 enquiries and for the actual auction we had more than 80 people registered to bid.
“We didn’t expect anything like that for a building like this.”
The old telephone exchange – barely large enough to accommodate a double bed – sits on the south side of Loch Tay, just off the A827, and without a neighbour to be seen for miles.
Killin is around eight miles in one direction, and Kenmore is the same distance in the other.
Mr Douglas said there has been a noticeable trend towards “quirky” and unusual buildings attracting significant interest from buyers, particularly when in attractive rural locations.
Earlier this year, a public toilet in Tarbet on the west shores of Loch Lomond sold for more than £20,000, while the Glasgow-based online auction firm recently sold Borgue Church near Kirkcudbright for £50,000 – around half the price of a garage in some parts of Edinburgh. The B-Listed Gothic-style church has a history that dates from 1150 and a graveyard which contains the mausoleum of the Gordon of Earlston family, including Colonel Sir William Gordon who survived the Charge of the Light Brigade.
In Aberdeenshire, the former Auld West Kirk in picturesque Alford also sold at auction for £40,000.
It’s thought interest in unusual rural properties is being driven at least in part by investors looking to convert them into rental holiday properties for the booming self-catering sector.
Mr Douglas added: “Properties that people might not think are worth anything are turning out to be attracting a lot of interest, including churches.
“People are looking for alternative and quirky places either to live in or to use as holiday accommodation.
“What one person thinks is a carbuncle, someone else will look at it and think it will be an ideal holiday home.”
A derelict house in Bridge of Weir has been sold for £313,000 at auction following a frenzied bidding war
The four-bedroom detached villa, which requires full upgrading, has been lying empty for some time and is unsuitable for habitation.
Selling agents Online Property Auctions Scotland had originally set a guide price of just £195,000 for the half acre site on Johnstone Road, one of the most sought-after locations in the west of Scotland.
However, the property went under the hammer for a significantly higher sum of money on Thursday, August 12, following more than 80 bids.
The bidding began at £180,000 and over next five hours, seven would-be buyers battled it out before the 82nd bid of £313,000 proved to be decisive.
George Douglas, CEO of Online Property Auctions Scotland, told The Gazette: “This type of property is rarely available in this area, which is why it attracted so much interest.
“The purchaser has several options, which include renovating the existing house or building a brand new detached house or residential development, subject to obtaining planning permission.”
Located between Bankend Road and Bridge of Weir Road, the property benefits from a substantial main road frontage and was in the ownership of the same family for a large number of years.
The property currently comprises of a dining kitchen, utility room, three public rooms, two WC, a bathroom, four double bedrooms and a boxroom.
There is also a large three-car garage and basement rooms.
The historic B-listed Borgue Church building will be put up for auction next week, three years after it was closed closed due to a dwindling congregation.
The church had been in existence since 1814 and the churchyard contains the late 19th century mausoleum of the Gordons of Earlston.
Borgue Parish is linked to Gatehouse, Tarff and Twynholm parishes, it lies five miles south-west of Kirkcudbright and six miles south of Gatehouse of Fleet.
The sale, by online auction takes place on Thursday, July 29, with a guide price of £53,000.
The 3280 sq ft property, which was previously on the market for offer over £60,000, is located in an elevated position, overlooking Borgue with views out to the Galloway Hills and the Solway Firth.
According to selling agents, Online Property Auctions Scotland, the church provides excellent development potential and is likely to attract interest from developers seeking a bespoke opportunity to create something special.
A spokeserson said: “We are delighted to offer to the market this substantial detached Category B listed former church building.
“The church is of Gothic design and is ideal for conversion into a magnificent house or a commercial venture including a possible tourist facility (all subject to planning consents).
“The varied landscape and seascape of the Borgue area makes it highly desirable for outdoor activities.”
Although they attracted multiple bids, these were not high enough to meet the sellers’ valuations.
OPAS said the plot of vacant land with the £1 price tag and potential annual rental income of £800 attracted “huge interest”.
Winning bidder opened with £3,000 offer
The identity of the buyer was undisclosed but OPAS said they entered the auction yesterday (June 23) with a bid of £3,000 and were forced up by competitors throughout the afternoon.
A total of seven bidders made had made 35 bids in all by the time the auction came to an end.
The five other units to come under the hammer attracted final bids ranging from £19,000 to £59,000 but none of them matched their guide prices, ranging from £11,000 to £64,000.
Covid-19 has led to a marked decline in traditional property viewings due to social distancing rules.
But these same conditions have allowed OPAS and other businesses with the same operating model to thrive.
Yesterday’s “special” auction of industrial property and land in Golspie’s town centre industrial estate was described by the auctioneers as “a once in a generation event”.
It is the first time the auctioneer has focused on just one industrial estate.
Site-focused event may be replicated
George Douglas, the Glasgow-based company’s managing director, had previously indicated a successful event could be the forerunner for more like it.
OPAS specialises in the sale of high-yielding commercial and residential lots, including land.
Its online auctions are held, on average, every two weeks, with dozens of properties available – both commercial and residential – from across the country. Bidding can be done via desktop, tablet or mobile device.
Industrial market slump
Just over £30m was invested in Scotland’s industrial property market amid lockdown during the first three months of 2021, half the five-year quarterly average of £61m, according to property giant Colliers.
In a blog late last year, Mr Douglas said: “Obviously it’s not been possible to attend live auctions during the pandemic.
“But we’ve found a very healthy number of regular ballroom auction patrons migrating to our online auctions during the lockdown.”
Foreign buyers are increasingly taking advantage of relatively low prices to invest in residential housing in Scotland, according to one online property auction site.
Buyers from the Far East, North America and Eastern Europe are among those who have purchased flats in a variety of locations across the country through Online Property Auctions Scotland during the past two months. According to chief executive George Douglas, this is an increasing trend in the market.
“We are now attracting interest from around the globe, at higher levels than before,” he said. “Among the recent buyers of properties auctioned by us have been investors living in China, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, Romania and the USA.
“Prices in Scotland have risen steadily over the past 12 months, despite the pandemic and the obstacles it has caused to viewing. This is due to the market adapting to a more online-based selling system.
“Even with the increase in value, Scotland is still thought of as an area with great growth potential.”
Among the properties purchased by foreign buyers through Online Property Auctions in the past two months are: a flat in Princes Court, Ayr, to a Chinese buyer; a one bedroom flat in George Street, Ayr, to a New York resident; a one bedroom flat in Saracen Street, Glasgow, to a Chinese resident; a three bedroom flat in Millgate Road, Hamilton, to an investor based in Hong Kong; a tenanted commercial property in High Street, Kirkcaldy, to a Saudi-based investor; a two bedroom flat in Jimmy Sneddon Way, Motherwell, to a Romanian resident; and a two bedroom flat in Castlefern Road, Rutherglen, also to a Romanian buyer.
Mr Douglas added: “While the various lockdowns have prevented viewing in a traditional sense, it has led to a greater reliance on online sales. Despite everything that is here, foreigners still see Scotland as a good investment.”
The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a marked decline in traditional property viewings due to social distancing rules.
However, these conditions have allowed Online Property Auctions Scotland, a company specializing in digital property auctions, to thrive.
CEO George Douglas says: “Obviously it’s not been possible to attend live auctions during the pandemic, but we’ve found a very healthy number of regular ballroom auction patrons migrating to our online auctions during the lockdown.
“We don’t charge any fees whatsoever to those looking to sell their property in our auctions, and we offer a speed of sale that estate agents simply can’t manage at the current time.
“We’ve sold properties in all four corners of Scotland in the past year, and we’ve also grown the number of sellers looking to list with us.
“Interestingly many sales were completed with the aid of video viewings etc.”
The company has a wide range of properties, both residential and commercial, presented for sale through auction three times a month.
In recent weeks OPAS have sold several flats in Glasgow, a pub and restaurant portfolio in Cambuslang, along with other property in Paisley, Ayr, Airdrie and Kirkcaldy.
George Douglas adds: “Perhaps the most unusual sale recently was a former church building in rural Perthshire
“The new owners intend to convert it into a stunning family home. It is always refreshing to see people with a dream and vision which will breathe new life into a neglected building.”
Sellers include financial institutions, banks, insolvency practitioners, executory sales, large and small investors as well as private clients who seek a fast, guaranteed sale.
Prospective buyers are provided with a legal pack prepared by the vendor’s solicitor.
It is also always possible to view all of the properties and potential buyers are urged to carry out their own due diligence.
*This article first appeared on Novaloca on the 16th November 2020