n entire Victorian mansion block in east London is to go on sale at public auction next month with a guide price of £7.5 million, the largest ever lot in the area.
The 24-flat apartment building, currently fully let, was built at the turn of the century and is located on the corner of Temple Street in Bethnal Green, near east London’s famous Columbia Road flower market.
Owned by a family for the past 20 years, the Temple Dwellings building has now been put up for sale. Unusually, the block‘s freehold is “unbroken” meaning all 24 flats are contained under the same title.
The property is arranged over ground and three upper floors and has a level roof area with a balustraded parapet.
Inside the Temple Dwellings apartment building
Each of the flats comprises a kitchen, living room, bedroom and bathroom with the average size around 415sq ft.
The auction will take place next month through Strettons. The company’s auction surveyor Andrew Brown said it was a “real rarity” to come across a building of the period with an unbroken freehold.
“There is a real opportunity here for someone to acquire a piece of Bethnal Green history. They are prominent blocks and well-known by people in the area.”
Brown said he had already had 40 strong enquiries in the property. Most buyers will be looking to take the building on as an investment as it comes with the existing tenancies and currently generates an annualised income of £354,252.
However Brown said the building also has a high “break-up value”, meaning if one of the tenancies was to come to an end, the new owner could refurbish the property and sell it on.
At the moment, each of the 24 flats are let, with 20 assured shorthold tenancies, 3 holding over on periodic tenancies and one regulated tenancy, meaning the person has a right to live there and can not be evicted.
Brown added: “What happens with regulated tenancies, if a building was to be redeveloped for example, might be that a tenant could be offered a significant amount of money to give up their right to live there.”
The flats are located in the Old Bethnal Green conservation area. In a guide to the area, Tower Hamlets Council writes of Temple Dwellings: “They enhance the special character of the area being of a typical scale for mansion flats of this date in a semi-industrial setting.
“They have a strong parapet line, are constructed of traditional materials and retain many historic features and architectural details.”
According to Strettons, over the past 10 years the current owners have undertaken approximately £275,000 of works; including security gates, flat refurbishment and security lighting.
The auction is likely to generate a wave of interest due to the area’s sky-high property prices. Earlier this year a “micro” studio flat in nearby Hackney measuring just 75 sq ft sold for £90,000, almost double its original guide price.
The auction for Temple Dwellings will take place on July 14 through Strettons.