There is a property in a prominent location in Holborn, notably near to Bury Place, where the first Hare Krishna Temple in Britain was opened in the 70s, which keeps turning up to auction, but doesn’t sell. Normally a property may come up once or twice if it doesn’t sell. This property has come up no less than 27 times! Within a very short space of time.
The only reason I can think of is it has to sell at auction, that is the preferred method of sale. This route has been chosen for the purposes of transparency. Though often if this method does not work then there is a justification to take a lower offer post auction, which rest assured was tried.
The property is owned by a fund, our assumption is they have taken the decision to sell, and take this asset off their books. Often in this scenario they tend to consider a low ball offer, post auction.
Not in this case though. Someone seems adamant to sell this in auction, and to obtain a certain price; regardless of whether or not the market is reciprocating.
The property is a freehold office building consisting of nearly 4,000 sq. ft. in a prime location in Central London.
The obvious angle to this deal is for residential conversion. This would be allowed under PD rights, meaning without the need for planning. Even if the council had done this under the old regime, this would be invalid under the new current raft of planning.
But this is no ordinary council, this is Camden council. They were on the ball enough to reapply for an Article 4 under the new round of legislation. In short, this means this property cannot be converted into residential usage under PD rights.
On the surface this seems like it’s good for an owner occupier, or someone who likes the postcode and wants to have a commercial building in the mix. From our analysis the demand for office space is sluggish, there are many properties in the locality being marketed, without much take.
This building is dated, and requires a programme of refurbishment.
This along with a tough council with the hurdle of an Article 4 means the property, despite its stunning location and low price per square foot, proves to be a tough sale.
This type of property should not be exposed to the market in the way it has been. Even putting a property three times in auction destroys its image. This has gone in 27 times, so the perception of this property has been decimated. Note, not the property itself, but the perception of it. And there’s an argument to say perception is reality. Therefore, the property has been decimated! I’ll leave you to ponder on this.