ESTATE agents are hopeful that a flat dubbed Hartlepool’s cheapest home will not cause property prices in the area to slump.
As we revealed in the Mail, a one bedroom flat in Derby Street, in the Oxford Road area of town, is set to go under the hammer next week with an incredible starting price of just £2,500.
The flat has attracted widespread interest from potential internet buyers, and while the final price is expected to be significantly higher, it is still likely to be one of the cheapest buys the town has seen.
David Sharpe, of town estate agents Dowen, based on York Road, said: “We’ve never sold anything that cheap.
“I expect it to go quite easily, especially at that price. They’ll have a lot of bidders.”
There are several houses on the market in the area, including a two bedroom terrace on Uppingham Street for £32,000, complete with tenant, and a three bedroom terrace on nearby Cornwall Street for £40,000.
The last property sold on Derby Street, in August 2011, was a two bedroom house sold for £47,000.
The average price for a house in the town currently stands at £74,702, according to the latest figures from the Land Registry.
David added: “Property in the area has been selling quite quickly, mostly to property investors to rent. Prices for investment in the area have been around the twenties.”
Online searches show there are several terraced houses in the area available for rental, with prices from £300 to £400 per month.
Lorraine Williams, of Eden Estates, believes that the recession and repossesions might be causing a problem for the area, leading to the low prices.
“The value of this flat could have an effect on prices in the area. Unfortunately, reposessions have been having a detrimental effect on prices. It’s a shame because all the streets are quite nice, and the properties have large sized rooms.
“As houses in the area come up for sale, the landlords have been snapping them up. A lot of the properties in the area are now rented.”
Lorraine’s agency has a two bedroom property for rent on the street for £400 per month, which has also received interest since coming onto the market two weeks ago. However, she also expressed her concerns about unscrupulous landlords neglecting homes.
“It’s hard if a landlord hasn’t got a tenant”, she added. “I wouldn’t like to be paying a mortgage on a house that’s empty, but some landlords need to take a bit more care when choosing a tenant.
“Some landlords are taking on tenants without a bond, which means that properties might not be cared for as well, sometimes leading to huge bills and creating large amounts of work needed when they move out.”
l 1a Derby Street is up for auction at Hardwick Hall on Wednesday, with a starting price of £2,500. To take a look around Hartlepool’s cheapest home, view a video tour on our website, at www.hartlepoolmail.co.uk.