This flat could be yours for £1: is it the cheapest property in the UK?

Sarah Coles
Britain's cheapest flat?
Britain's cheapest flat?

A one-bedroom flat on the Isle of Bute has gone on sale for just £1. The property, in the centre of Rothsay, is on the top floor of a historic building, near to the castle and just five minutes from the harbour. The auction house points out that it would be an ideal holiday home or buy-to-let investment. It begs the question of why it's so cheap.

The property itself is in decent condition - far better than anyone might expect for £1. It has a large lounge, a kitchen, shower room and bedroom. There's also central heating and double-glazing, although it hasn't been tested. On the face of it, the property doesn't look as though it needs an enormous amount of money spent on it.
Why so cheap?

The catch is that the owner, 58-year-old Catherine Scott, isn't selling it through an estate agent at this price. She's actually selling it auction on 26th March, with no reserve, which means that bidding can start at £1, and that if nobody bids more than that, it'll sell for £1.

She told the Daily Mail she'd taken this approach because the property had belonged to her late husband, and she wanted to sell the flat quickly. The £1 guide price will ensure that whatever happens at the auction, she will sell immediately.

It remains to be seen how much it will go for. The property would normally fetch closer to £20,000 on the open market, and there's a reasonable chance she will get something approaching this sum. The idea of the guide price of £1 is to generate enough interest to get plenty of people bidding on the day. However, it all depends on who shows up for the auction, and how much they are prepared to spend. There's a chance that if there aren't many interested buyers, someone could snap it up for a song.

Cheapest house?

This property would have to sell for £1 in order to qualify as the cheapest house in Britain, because as we reported earlier this week, Liverpool and Stoke councils have both been operating schemes, allowing people to buy empty properties for this nominal sum - on the condition that they regenerate the homes and stay in them for years.

Aside from these sorts of schemes, some of the cheapest properties on the market at the moment include a run-down terraced house in Porth which is going up for auction with a guide price of £11,000, a one-bedroom flat in Newmilns near Kilmarnock with a guide price of £8,000 and a two-bedroom flat in Liverpool with a guide price of £10,000.

There's every chance that the Isle of Bute flat will sell for a similar sum. When sellers have used this trick before, they have tended to drum up enough interest to push the price up impressively.

In October 2012 we reported on the house in the Port Clarence area of Stockton, which required an enormous amount of work, and was up for sale for £750. The price drew a crowd to the auction, and it eventually sold for £14,000 - which was a great result given that properties on the road in excellent condition were selling for around £35,000 at the time.

But what do you think? What would you pay for this flat?

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