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Friday, Oct 30, 2020

Flat sells for £1 because no one can get inside

Buying a flat for a quid sounds like a bargain – but there was a major catch with a property that recently sold for £1 in Cambridgeshire.
Nobody has ever lived in the residence in the town centre of Wisbech, as it’s impossible to get inside.

The boarded-up apartment – which is nestled between shops above a high street and has one window overlooking the river – is suspended above an alley.

Inside, there is one 129 sq ft room, but with no doors and no access via stairs, no one really knows what is in there.

Despite its obvious limitations, it was recently sold by Norfolk-based auctioneers William H Brown.

The unusual flat had an initial guide price of £100 but this was lowered to £1 at the last minute, with an unidentified local businessman snapping it up at auction.

It’s believed the buyer would have paid much more in legal fees than he did for the actual flat – around £1,000 in total.

Fenland District Council, which has owned it since 1966, put it up for sale alongside other ‘surplus properties’ with William H Brown.

The auctioneers have revealed they have never seen a property sell for a lower price.

Auctions partner Victoria Reek described it as ‘certainly one of the weirdest ones we’ve had at auction’ but admitted it is ‘probably just full of cobwebs’.

The auction details name it a ‘flying freehold’ which means it has no structure underneath but extends over a passageway.

It said: ‘This is an opportunity to acquire a flying freehold which extends over part of a vehicular access passageway and comprises a single, currently inaccessible room, measuring approximately 12 sqm.

‘There is limited information and we have not, at this stage, gained access.’

One theory is that the property, located at 5-6 Nene Quay, may have belonged to the building next door at some point, but got separated over time.

It is in a terrace of old buildings, believed to have been built as granaries or shops in the 16th century, and sits between Tasty China restaurant and Bridge Insurance office.

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John F. Kennedy
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