Mouldy, ‘unmortgageable’ Belsize Park home to go to auction — for cash buyers only
An “unmortgageable” two-bedroom London home riddled with mould and grease is going to auction with a reserve price close to £1 million.
The Belsize Park property, which is walking distance from Hampstead Heath, will go under the hammer to cash buyers only on Monday 27 March.
Sited on Lyndhurst Road — a few doors up from a blue plaque commemorating a one-time residence of actor Richard Burton — the terraced house was last bought for £595,000 in 2003, according to Land Registry documents.
Images shared ahead of the auction suggest it has had little love in recent years. Mould can be seen on walls, doors and window frames, while floors, walls and ceilings have sustained damage and appliances are missing or appear unusable.
It is hard to imagine that many internal elements could be salvaged by buyers. External walls are dirty and the garden is unkempt.
The property has no drive and the front garden is held under a separate lease, which states it can not be converted for parking.
Nonetheless auctioneer Hammer Price Homes describes a “charming end-of-terraced cottage” on a “prestigious” street.
“This picturesque tree-lined road really is in prime location and is within walking distance to Belsize Park, Hampstead and Finchley Road, offering easy access to a wide range of bars, shops and restaurants,” says the description.
“Green open spaces can be found close by, including the popular Hampstead Heath. The property is also well placed for commuters, with Hampstead, Belsize Park and Finchley Road Underground stations all within walking distance.”
The house will be sold as seen, for cash, which must be paid within 60 days from receipt of draft contracts.
Although bids start at £785,000, the reserve price is “typically 15 to 20 per cent” higher, according to Hammer Price Homes. With a three per cent fee auctioneer’s fee to be paid on top, it is likely to take a seven-figure outlay to secure the property.
In the right hands, it could still prove to be a bargain. A terraced house on Lyndhurst road sold for £7.1 million in August 2021, while a maisonette on the street changed hands for £1.9 million at the start of this year.
The average price for a terraced home in NW3 in late 2022 was £3 million, according to latest available Rightmove data.
Sam Gould, sales director at the Hampstead office of estate agents Chestertons, said the market in Belsize Park remained “strong” and he expected competition for the run-down property that could push its eventual selling price up even higher.
“There is room to extend at the back, subject to planning permission, which adds value,” he said. “Buyers tend to love unmodernised properties — this is certainly a project.”
The area remains ultra-desirable due to its proximity to Hampstead Heath, the Northern Line and good schools, added Gould. It could suit an older couple looking to prepare a property to downsize into or buying for children to live in some years down the line, he said.