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£1 bungalows sell after auction frenzy

A pair of rusting corrugated sheet constructed former South Wales valleys mining village bungalows for sale at just 50p each created a storm of interest when the auction opened.

The brace of battered buildings, listed with an auction guide price of £1 the pair, have now sold for £40,500 to a local person after a pitched bidding battle.

And the new owner of the corrugated iron cottages just couldn’t be happier.

The new owner, who lives locally, said: “I have bought the cottages with the intention of restoring them and living there. 

“The buyer said they had been alerted to the sale after seeing them in the Paul Fosh Auctions catalogue online.

“After initially noticing them in the auction catalogue I went to inspect them, as I live locally. I was expecting a rickety shack with a tree growing through the roof but was pleasantly surprised at their condition. 

“After a lot of consideration as to the amount and extent of work that would need to be done, the work required is not inconsiderable, I was able to set a limit on the amount I would be willing and able to pay for the lot before the project would become unviable.

“And yes, I was a bit perturbed by the amount of interest the auction drew but I was very definite about what they were worth to me and the limit of what I could pay. All I could do then was wait and see what happened. It was my first time of buying at auction and the process has been quite straightforward.  

 But why buy a  tin house? “Quite simply, I love them.  These are examples of the original prefabs, sold as kits and often shipped to the colonies or often erected in areas of rapid population expansion due to industry. 

“There are still a good handful of these in the valleys, still lived in and loved, not to mention the tin tabernacles dotted around the place. I am sure some would disagree, but I think the cottages I’ve bought In Crumlin is a beautiful, heritage property in need of rescuing. I do not know the history of this individual property but would be very interested to find out.”  

Perched on the valley side in a former industrial setting the twin, tattered, terraced buildings, 1-2 Bank Bungalows, are in the village of Crumlin, near Blackwood, in Caerphilly borough.

Sean Roper, of Newport-based Paul Fosh Auctions, said potential purchasers were undeterred despite no internal inspections of the bungalows being allowed due to their condition.

Sean said: “The first bid of £100 came in at just four minutes after when bidding opened at 12 noon on the Tuesday. There’d been phenomenal pre-auction interest in the lots with almost 700 people watching the lots prior to the start of the online auction with 11 bidders battling it out to secure the bungalows.

“Despite the condition of the tin buildings, inside and out, there was no let up as the bids stacked up.

“Although the bungalows are in a poor state of repair they do occupy an elevated position with views across the valley and offer scope for improvement.

“The bungalows, in their current condition, clearly need some work but they may well be able to be renovated for AirBnB-type use or to be refurbished and rented out.

“Alternatively the plot of land that they are on may offer the possibility for alternative development such as the construction of a detached dwelling, subject, of course, to necessary planning consents.

“The village of Crumlin benefits from a range of local amenities and further shopping facilities are available in the nearby towns of Newbridge and Cwmbran, which is south on the A4042.

“Bungalow one is believed to contain an entrance, lounge, kitchen WC and two bedrooms while the second property has a lounge, bedroom and kitchen area. There is land to the sides, rear and front, with a parking area. The properties were sold with vacant possession.”