Horror farm sells for nearly eight times its guide price

A controversial Lancashire property has sold for nearly eight times its guide price after potential buyers shrugged off problems associated with the Bacup site and piled in with offers.

Trice Barn Farm, off Bacup Old Road, was one of scores of lots on offer in the latest national online sale by SDL Auctions North West.

The notorious 80-acre farm made national headlines after animals were found living in squalor there.

The current occupier was served notice to vacate last year but remains living there, making it impossible to view the farm, and it has recently experienced a fire.

It was included in SDL’s latest online auction for a guide price of £50,000.

But when it came up in last Thursday’s (May 28) auction it triggered a fierce bidding battle before selling for nearly eight times its guide price.

SDL managing director and auctioneer, Andrew Parker, said bidders went into the auction with their eyes open, knowing that the property is not for the faint-hearted.

The site, which features a three-bedroomed farmhouse plus outbuildings, eventually sold for £394,000.

Mr Parker said: “The farm has been causing problems for its owner for many years, which is why they were willing to accept a price way below its market value.

“However, we had potential buyers lining up to bid and the final figure exceeded all expectations. We are delighted that the farm has a new owner and the seller can move on with their life.”

The latest auction brought the total raised for sellers during May to £16.2m.

SDL has continued to operate successfully during the coronavirus crisis, switching its room auctions to virtual national property auctions and maintaining its daily online auctions as normal.

Mr Parker said: “We’ve been blown away by the support we’ve received from buyers, sellers, agents and, of course, from our own hardworking team who have pulled together to ensure we can still provide a vital service while keeping everyone safe.

“As it is likely to be quite some time before it is safe to gather in the auction room once again, we are delighted that our remote methods of selling are proving so popular with buyers and producing such great results for sellers.”

SDL’s second national property auction was watched by 1,500 people – including the Homes Under The Hammer team seeking properties for the next BBC television series – and there were more than 22,000 legal pack downloads.

Held in the company’s head office auction studio and broadcast live over the internet over the course of seven hours, the auction featured a catalogue of 127 lots with guide prices from just £1+ and spread across the North West and around the country, from Scotland down to Cornwall.

The lowest-priced lot in the auction – a workshop in Holyhead on the Isle of Anglesey with a guide price of just £1+ – sold for £2,700.

Mr Parker said: “This may be a low-priced lot, but it could prove to be a high-yield investment, with a potential rental income of £2,000 per year, meaning it could pay for itself in a couple of years.”

Another Welsh property which performed well in the auction was 8A Well Street in Holywell, a pretty, one-bedroomed cottage in the town centre but just a few minutes’ drive from the popular Talacre beach.

The traditional two-up, two-down cottage has character features including exposed beams, latched doors and a walled yard at the rear, with a modern kitchen and bathroom. It sold for £49,000 from a guide price of £28,000+.

The auction ended on a high note with the sale of 16 Westland Avenue in Farnworth, a tenanted semi-detached house which sold for £92,500 from a guide price of £55,000+.

The three bedroomed house currently produces an annual rental income of £5,760 and sits on a large corner plot which offers the potential for development, subject to planning permission.

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