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Property auctions in Devon, England
Whether you are interested in buying at property auctions in Devon as a primary residence or second home, there are plenty of opportunities for you. As a popular holiday destination, you will also find many commercial properties on offer ranging from gift shops to hotels.
This biggest county in England also has a thriving agricultural industry so rural properties, such as cottages, are also regularly put up for sale. Prices, however, can vary widely so before buying any property sold at auction in Devon, read our informative guide to help you make the best choice.
Property prices in Devon
Location comes at a price and this is especially true when it comes to property for sale in Devon. Despite Devon’s wide expanse of coastline, properties based on the coast and with a sea view can command much higher property prices than those further inland.
Therefore, it is worth compromising on property location and moving further inland. The price of property can drop by at least £100,000 for a home of similar style and condition.
Let’s take the example of a 3 bedroom semi-detached house in relatively good condition. The price of this kind of property in Devon ranges widely depending on where it is as the following table shows:
- Under £150,000: Bideford, Cullompton, Newton Abbot, Plymouth, Paignton
- £150,000-£200,000: Dartmouth, Exeter, Ilfracombe, Kingsbridge, Okehampton
- £200,000-£250,000: Bovey Tracy, Sidmouth, Totnes, Braunton
- £250,000+: Salcombe, Woolacombe, Chagford, Croyde
Where should you look for property for sale by auction in Devon?
The location of property auctions in Devon reflects the contrasts of the county itself. From busy seaside resorts to isolated rural villages, there are many different types of property for sale in Devonshire.
Among the many places with active property auctions in Devon, we have chosen a selection of locations to help you when you look for that dream property.
The largest city in Devon and based on the south coast, Plymouth has the widest range of property for sale by auction in Devon. These include 2, 3 and 4 bedroom detached, semi-detached and terraced houses built in the 19th and 20th centuries as well as flats and maisonettes, including the prestigious modern Mount Wise development, dubbed the ‘village-by-the-sea’.
The average property price in Plymouth quoted by estate agents is £120,000 but you can pick up a property at auction in Plymouth for considerably less. You should carry out the necessary property survey and have the legal pack examined by your solicitor since the cheapest houses at property auctions in Plymouth often need major structural repairs or have tenants.
Located a 45-minute drive from Plymouth, Exeter is another place to look for houses sold at property auctions in Devon. As a larger city, its housing stock is as varied as Plymouth and includes detached, semi-detached and terraced houses as well as flats and bungalows (many for the retired). However, its popularity comes at a price and it has the third most expensive properties in Devon (after Dartmouth and Salcombe), averaging just over £175,000.
For those attracted to a seaside resort, Ilfracombe is the ideal place to find a house, flat or bungalow, many of which are located on the cliff and with breath-taking views of the sea. It has very similar properties to Woolacombe but at much more affordable prices. Woolacombe property prices average at £500,000 so Ilfracombe is a viable alternative for anyone seeking a more affordable property in Devon.
Barnstaple is a busy market town often featured at property auctions in Devon where you can find property for sale by auction for as little as £100,000 depending on the size and condition. Located on the rugged North Devon coastline, home buyers are drawn to Barnstaple because of the friendliness of its inhabitants, its sense of community and the quality of life away from the hustle and bustle of large urban areas.
Located in the west of the county near Dartmoor, Okehampton has a mix of urban properties for sale in the £150,000-£200,000 price range. On its outskirts, there are also more rural properties found at auction such as cottages and converted barns which can be more affordable. Many people choose to buy a property here because of its slower pace of life and the peace and quiet.
Property auctions in Devon FAQ
How can I find auction properties in Devon?
Auction properties in Devon are marketed and arranged by national and local auction houses. The dates and times of property auctions can be found on their websites around a month before they take place. Full listings of homes to be sold can be viewed online or you could add your name to their mailing list and receive a catalogue.
How much are auction properties in Devon?
The average price of auction properties in Devon is around £333,000. However, this depends on the size, type and condition of the property. It therefore varies from a flat whose average price is £189,000 to detached residences (£510,000). A 5 bedroom detached house can go as high as £700,000.
Which areas are best to find auction properties in Devon?
Your choice of area depends on your requirements and how much you are prepared to pay. For those who wish to be near to transport links, the best area is in and around Plymouth (with its railway station) or east Devon (such as Exmouth and Cullompton) which links to the M5. The best inland towns are Totnes and Newton Abbot while popular seaside resorts in Devon include Salcombe, Woolacombe and Ilfracombe.
Can I buy repossessed properties at auction in Devon?
Sometimes, but generally the sale of repossessed property in Devon is unusual. Mainstream lenders do not usually sell repossessed properties through auction but prefer to market sales through estate agents avoiding informing would-be buyers that the house was repossessed.
What kind of auction property should you look for around Devon?
Residential property auctions in Devon
All architectural and period styles of home can be found in Devon from Victorian terraced houses in the larger urban centres to new-build bungalows with all the mod cons located close to the sea. Former fishermen’s cottages are also available on the coast although they might need some investment to renovate them. In the areas around Dartmoor and Exmoor, you will also be able to find rural properties such as cottages and barn conversions.
For those looking for period homes such as merchant houses and townhouses, the best places to look are Dartmouth, Stoke and Peverell. However, these very rarely come onto the market and when they do, the auction guide price rarely starts below £500,000.
Commercial property for sale in Devon
Although Devon has shopping centres and retail parks located in or near its major towns and cities, it is one of the few places in the UK where independent retailers are also able to make a good living. Many of the High Streets in its towns consist of specialist shops and many inhabitants resist the incursion of chain stores when they try to open. It is possible to buy commercial auction properties for £10,000-£20,000, many of which are sold as a going concern.
When looking through auction house catalogues, you will see that many of the properties are concerned with the tourist and hospitality sector such as cafes and tea rooms. Before putting in a bid, you should have a financial adviser look over the books of the business to ensure you would be able to break even. You should also consider the length of the tourist season and whether your business would attract enough local custom to keep it going through the winter.
Devon is also the ideal place to buy properties such as guest houses, B and Bs and hotels. Depending on the number of beds and location, you can find these properties for auction from £350,000 all the way up to £2.5 million. It is crucial that you have your auction property financing ready to go before committing to the purchase.
Investment properties in Devon
Whether you are interested in buying an auction property in Devon for holiday lets or for buy-to-let, there are a wealth of possibilities. Holiday goers would be more interested in properties relatively close to the sea although there is also a demand for holiday lets in rural locations for people keen on hiking and photography.
Plymouth is home to three universities while Exeter has two so these are both places where you can rent the property to students. If you are planning to convert a large property into one suitable for multiple occupancy, it is a good idea to check regulations regarding planning permission before buying. Apart from undergraduates, rental properties are also in high demand for young professionals based in the area with the main advantage that the income would cover the full 12 months giving you a better return for your investment.
Five reasons to buy at property auctions in Devon
1. Variety of beautiful Devon landscapes
With two separate coastlines, the stark beauty of the moors, picturesque villages lush countryside and rolling hills, Devon appeals to many people because of the sheer variety of its landscapes. Where else could you travel from moor to beach in under twenty minutes? It’s little wonder that Devon is so popular with people looking for a bargain property and why this area is one of the busiest among all the property auctions in England.
2. Devon has a mild climate
During the summer months, Devon boasts more sunshine than other parts of the UK. It is little wonder that its south coast (including the town of Torbay) has been nicknamed the ‘English Rivera’. This factor, combined with its low levels of pollution, is the reason why it attracts so many retirees. This tends to increase property prices.
3. Quality of food and drink in Devon
Everyone has heard of Devon cream, but it is also well-known for the quality of its meat especially mutton and lamb. It is so good that many 5-star London restaurants outsource their meat supplies to Devon. Apart from its thriving farmers’ markets, it has also seen an increase in companies producing artisan foodstuffs. Nowhere else will you eat so healthily and for so much less.
4. Pace of life in Devon
How many times have you heard people complain about the rat race? By contrast to the UK’s major cities, Devon has a much more relaxed attitude towards the demands of modern life. If you want to get rid of your stress, this is the place for you.
5. Devon’s high quality of life
In its 2019 survey, the well-being charity ‘HappyCity’ considered 60 factors to highlight the best places to live in the UK. With its high levels of physical activity, good air quality and involvement in the community combined with lower levels of inequality, Devon performed better than 149 other local authorities.
In a separate 2018 poll, the ‘Sunday Times’ cited two towns in Devon (Totnes and Tavistock) as the best places to live in the UK.
Buying property for sale by auction in Devon can be the ideal way to pick up a residential, commercial, industrial or agricultural property for less than you would pay normally. Whether you are planning to relocate or are on the lookout for a holiday home, making a bid is a firm commitment which is as legally binding as your signature on a contract.
Before buying at a property auction in Devon, it is worth doing your research beforehand by visiting some of the areas of Devon we have highlighted above.