Old churches command high prices at auction
Redundant churches are the must-have properties of the current market it seems, with buyers clamouring to make one their own at auction.Properties in need of renovation and modernisation are in great demand in general, as available stock to buy is in short supply, recent sales have shown.Three vacant church buildings, including one which sold for nearly four times its guide price, helped drive sales of more than £5 million at a Sheffield property firm’s biggest auction of the year.The strong total sales of £5.48m at the auction, run by Mark Jenkinson and Son, included the former St Joseph’s RC Church in Staveley, which was listed at £75,000 but sold for more than a quarter of a million pounds at £295,000.St Joseph’s was founded as a place of worship in 1938 and is a brick built church building with a single storey extension. It has an open aspect but is close to Staveley town centre.Also in Chesterfield, the former St Hugh’s of Lincoln RC Church and dwelling, a three-bedroom bungalow, in Newbold, sold for £655,000.And in Rotherham, St Peter’s Church in Thrybergh had a guide price of £75,000 but actually sold for £83,000.This former church building on two levels includes a main hall on the ground floor with a kitchen, vestry and WC. Its lower ground floor has a hall, stores, kitchen and toilets. The building has an open aspect to the rear.Other popular properties included an office on Pitsmoor Road in Sheffield which Mark Jenkinson and Son sold on behalf of Sheffield City Council. TThis went for more than double its guide price after attracting ‘massive local interest’.The imposing Grade II listed building was on at £150,000 but sold for £364,000.Also sold at the auction, held at The Platinum Suite, Sheffield United Football Club, was a detached bungalow in Crosspool in need of modernisation.Set in a plot of approximately 693 square metres in Hagg Lane, the house sold for more than £100,000 over its guide – £370,000 against a guide of £250,000.Elsewhere in Sheffield, two semi-detached, three-bedroomed houses exceeded their guide prices by approximately a third, both topping sales of more than £100,000.A traditional house with a cul-de-sac plot on Hollinsend Avenue, Gleadless, in need of complete renovation sold for £121,000 despite its guide price of £80,000 - £90,000.Meanwhile, a semi-detached house on Hurlfield Avenue with a guide price of £78,000 sold for £107,000.Adrian Little, who heads the auction department at Mark Jenkinson and Son, said: “Church properties always attract a lot of interest and that was certainly the case here in our biggest auction of the year so far.“There was also massive local interest in the Grade II listed office building which drove its price to more than double the guide, while investments and modernisation projects all sold well.“The market remains strong for modernisation opportunities and properties for investment – there is confidence in ‘bricks and mortar’ and a sense of normality and ‘business as usual’ despite the current political turmoil,” he said.“This was our most successful auction to date this year with total sales of £5.48m altogether.“Thirty nine of the 54 lots offered were sold and we expect to reach sales of up to £6m in the coming weeks.”Established in 1877, Mark Jenkinson and Son, which has offices in Sheffield and Chesterfield, is the largest independent firm of Chartered Surveyors in South Yorkshire.For more information about future auction dates and what they have to offer currently visit www.markjenkinson.co.uk.