Cambridge firm Cheffins was disappointed to have withdrawn most of the land lots it offered at auction last week.
About 105 acres was scheduled for the sale, in almost a dozen lots ranging from 2.33 acres of amenity woodland at Great Shelford to over 22 acres of Grade 2 arable land near Saffron Walden. The latter had a guide price of £120,000 to £130,000 (£5400-5900/acre). In the event, only the woodland sold on the day, but at a terrific price. Guided at £18,000 to £20,000, it went under the hammer at £55,000.
However, just over 22 acres at Wimbish, Essex, were sold ahead of the auction for more than £6000/acre, and several parcels have found buyers since the auction, including 10 acres at Cottenham, north of Cambridge, which went under offer at about £40,000.
The firm said the auction’s proximity to Christmas was partly to blame for the flat response to the land. “Several plots had restricted access and no road frontage and these worked against them,” said auctioneer Simon Gooderham.
“There is still a wide range in the values being achieved, depending largely on the location of the land, with bare land typically selling at between £4500 and £6000/acre,” he said. “The quality of the land is now a lesser factor in assessing the value. Location, access and size are the main factors that determine the price that any particular block will achieve.”