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A flurry of autumn auctions

Thu 17 October 2019

Stags Farm Agent and Auctioneer Andrew Ranson discusses this busy season of auctions. 

Across the South West, Stags has seen a steep rise in the popularity of auctions as a means to selling farms, land and development opportunities, particularly across Cornwall and West Devon.

I have seen a 74% increase in the number of lots the firm has offered at auction in Cornwall and West Devon over the last three years. This was a marked increase for a range of property types; from whole farms to pony paddocks, country cottages in need of modernisation to substantial sites for development, and commercial land blocks to parcels of woodland. Over the same period, Stags has maintained a success rate of over 90%, well above industry average.  

In the last week of September 2019, I have conducted two auctions of 10 lots throughout Cornwall and the Devon borders. On 25 September, seven properties were due to be auctioned, the majority of these lots were in the Falmouth to Helston area, with the remaining two on the north coast at Porthtowan and Mawgan Porth. Two of the lots sold prior to auction and the remaining five were offered to a packed room of interested potential purchasers. I am delighted to confirm that including the two pre-auction sales, all seven lots sold, achieving some very pleasing results for our vendors. 

Closer to home in Launceston on 26 September, three properties were due to be offered for auction. A cottage for renovation in Launceston was sold just two days prior to the auction, leaving a small woodland lot on the edge of Witherdon Wood near Halwill Junction and a second cottage to renovate in Gunnislake, near Tavistock.
Surprisingly, both lots failed to sell in the room. This was very disappointing, particularly given that one had generated more than 50 viewings and a number of pre-auction offers.
The woodland lot comprised 6.5 acres of attractive, mainly broadleaf woodland with some pasture clearings and a stream. It was situated in an extremely peaceful and secluded position, mainly surrounded by other woodland. While this failed to meet its reserve at the auction, I am pleased to report that a sale has since been agreed. 

Last year Stags managed to sell 47 of the 50 properties offered in Cornwall and West Devon. I believe this sort of success rate gives vendors with little experience of auctions the confidence to offer their property by this method.

In terms of forthcoming auctions, Stags has just launched a small 30-acre farm near Shebbear, which is available in three lots and goes to auction on 12 November. The principle lot comprises a four-bedroom cottage requiring complete renovation set in approximately 23 acres of pasture and woodland. The property is set in a private and secluded position and has a guide price of £250,000 - £300,000. Lot 2 and Lot 3 comprise two four-acre fields, both guided at £15,000 - £25,000. Initial interest for Lot 1 appears strong with 10 viewing appointments made in the first 24 hours of marketing.

I would recommend taking a look at the auctions page on to see further details of these and future auctions.  Please contact us if you think you have a property that would suit an auction sale.

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