Property Auctions in Cornwall

Image showing a house sold at property auctions in Cornwall
Property auctions in Cornwall are very diverse and include larger houses, flats, cottages and other properties. Photo © Humphrey Bolton (cc-by-sa/2.0)

Property auctions in Cornwall, England

Why buy property in Cornwall?

Many house buyers at property auctions in Cornwall are drawn to the area because they wish to relocate away from the hustle and bustle of big cities. Changes in working practices and improved rail and road networks mean that it is now possible to live in Cornwall but work elsewhere.

Factors such as the expansion of the University of Exeter and the growing digital media hub based in Falmouth have opened up new job opportunities in Cornwall outside the traditional tourism sector.

Buying a retirement property in Cornwall

Retirees are also attracted to buying property sold at auction in Cornwall because it offers them a more relaxed lifestyle, a better climate and lower crime rate than the rest of the UK. Of course, this type of property sales in Cornwall has it’s upsides and downsides.

Image showing houses in Cornwall
Many houses sold at property auctions in Cornwall are bought as holiday houses or second homes. Photo © Jo Turner (cc-by-sa/2.0)

While they may bring money into the area and help populate houses which may otherwise lie empty, retired couples often have no children and this can have a detrimental effect on local schools. If you do successfully buy a property in Cornwall, remember to use the local facilities and try to become a part of the local community.

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Buying a second home in Cornwall

Another factor in Cornwall’s growing popularity is people’s decision to buy a second home or holiday house. This property would be a solid property investment and could be used as both a personal holiday home, a short-term rental for tourists or even as a long term property rental.

With an estimated 24 million tourists visiting the Duchy of Cornwall every year, it is quite possible to generate rental income all the year round. This would be sufficient to pay for the maintenance of the holiday property as well as make a profit.

Photo of a house for sale in Cornwall
Cornwall property auctions are not just about old cottages and former mining properties. Sometimes modern homes become available at local sales. Photo © Philip Halling (cc-by-sa/2.0)

Types of property auctions in Cornwall

Although films and TV programmes have given people a view of properties in Cornwall as being either seaside residences or rural retreats, there is a greater variety on offer than you might expect. From Georgian townhouses in Penzance to new-builds in rapidly growing towns like Hayle, there are many types of houses sold at property auctions in Cornwall.

Finding a building for sale at property auctions in Cornwall is also ideal for you if you are interested in buying a home of non-standard construction (such as slate) or unusual conversion. Farmhouses, mills, chapels and barns are just some of the many quirky buildings that are sold at auction.

Buying a derelict property in Cornwall has also become a trend in recent years with increasing numbers being sold at auction. This is in line with the trend for buying properties to renovate.

Image showing an old property in Cornwall
If you buy an older property in Cornwall, be sure to conduct a property survey to check for issues such as rising damp and structural problems. Photo © Derek Voller (cc-by-sa/2.0)

If you are keen on a less traditional building, you should exercise all due diligence before bidding for such homes at property auctions in Cornwall. It is crucial that you have a thorough building survey done as this can highlight any serious structural problems which could turn your dream home into a money pit.

If the house or flat you are interested in has been poorly maintained, then you should take this into account when drawing up a budget and arranging your finances. Mortgage providers are also very reluctant to award loans for less conventional or even older or period properties at auction, especially if they have problems such as rising damp.

If you are relying on a mortgage to finance your auction property purchase, you should bear this in mind to avoid disappointment.

Property Auctions in Cornwall FAQ

How Can I Find Property Auctions in Cornwall?

Finding the most suitable property auction in Cornwall requires both research and preparation. Contacting local auctioneers and visiting auction house websites are both good ways to begin your search. You could also contact local banks in Cornwall to find out about properties being auctioned by the bank.

How Much Are Houses Sold At Property Auctions in Cornwall?

Although property auctions in Cornwall used to be much cheaper, the area is becoming more and more popular. Certain factors, such as the location (for example, with a sea view) or the interest of other bidders, can drive up the original guide price set by the auction house.

Where Is the Best Place to Look for Property Auctions in Cornwall?

If you are looking for a good deal when buying at a property auction in Cornwall, try to stay away from obvious popular areas and good beaches. Generally speaking, buying a property at auction in Cornwall is going to be a lot more expensive if it is near the sea or within easy commuting distance of popular Cornish towns.

Where to look for property auctions in Cornwall

Where to buy properties for sale in Cornwall depends chiefly on your reason for buying. If you want a home for yourself or your own family, you should make a list of property ‘must haves’ and ‘could haves’ in order to narrow down your search.

For example, if you need to commute, the Cornish Rame Peninsula is only a short ferry ride from Central Plymouth railway station, where high-speed rail links can take you to most UK cities within a few hours. The more flexible you are about the ‘could haves’ on your list, the easier it will be to find your ideal property.

Image showing a house for sale in Cornwall
Even the smallest of houses attract intense interest at property auctions in Cornwall, especially if they are near the sea. Photo © Raymond Cubberley (cc-by-sa/2.0)

On the other hand, if you are interested in letting the property, you should consider who your ideal tenants would be. Falmouth is relatively close to the Penryn campus of the University of Exeter and therefore would be an ideal for renting to students. The advantage is that tenants such as students would guarantee you a regular income for at least 9 months of the year.

In certain Cornish towns there is also a good selection of apartments and flats which can be rented out on long or short term leases. These flats often generate high interest at local property auctions in Cornwall.

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Holidaymakers have different needs to students and are primarily interested in being located a short walk to the beach, having all the home comforts and preferably a sea view. Having said that, the geography of Cornwall means that no place is further than 20 miles from the sea. This makes it an ideal area for property hunters, hence the huge rise in interest in auction properties in Cornwall.

You should also take into account that not everyone that visits Cornwall on holiday is interested in the sea. Its picturesque villages, miles of cycle trails and extensive woodlands all draw many visitors. Therefore, you might be able to find property at auction at a bargain price just because it is located further inland.

Image showing a house sold in Cornwall
Property prices in Cornwall can vary wildly, with some houses greatly exceeding expectations when sold at property auctions. Photo © Derek Harper (cc-by-sa/2.0)

Property prices in Cornwall

In terms of property prices in Cornwall, places like St Ives and Bude tend to demand the highest prices at auction. However, you should balance this against the potential returns on your property investments. These popular tourist destinations would also allow you to charge more for short-term lets.

The key to successfully buying a good value property at auction in Cornwall depends on how much time you are prepared to invest in research beforehand. You might not necessarily find your ideal home from visiting your first property auction, but the process requires patience and persistence.

You may have to spend some considerable time hunting for the right kind of house or flat, even if this means attending multiple property auction sales. Bearing in mind there are many hundreds of bidders at these sales, it becomes easy to understand why property auctions in Cornwall are so popular.

Property resources in Cornwall:

Cornwall council tax information
Visit Cornwall – Tourist information about Cornwall, England

Property Auctions UK (Home Page) – Local Property Auctions