A leading Midland auctioneer is forecasting strong interest in the sale of four former residential homes in Birmingham and the Black Country next month which local authorities are forced to sell because of changing regulations.
Ron Darlington, joint head of auctions at Bigwood incorporating Bond Wolfe, says all four will come under the hammer at the firm’s sales this Tuesday, at the Holte Suite, Aston Villa.
He said; “It’s unusual to have so many properties like these in the one catalogue, but Birmingham City Council has no choice but to sell them because of new health regulations.
“These dictate all bedrooms in care homes and children’s homes must have en-suite facilities.
“Local authorities know it is going to be uneconomic to refurbish properties that will end up with fewer than 35 bedrooms after the improvement work has been done.
“It’s impossible for either the private or public sector to make them work at a viable level with fewer than 50 bedrooms because of the high staffing costs involved in running a home which operates 24/7.
“This is why there is now such a shortage of care homes in Birmingham. The smaller ones are being phased out compulsorily.
“Paradoxically, this presents a window of opportunity for commercial developers in the long-term seeking planning consent to build care homes on larger sites.
“The city council’s misfortune can also be seen as an opportunity in the short-term for other developers who see the potential of these former institutional buildings.
“Some will make ideal residential conversions to apartments, while others may have premium value in refurbishment to hotels, private schools, or even community centres catering to the city’s rich ethnic base.”
The October 6 catalogue contains the modern 50-bedroom Victor Yates Home in Hockley which has a guide price of £425,000.
It is a two-storey building set in ground of 1.37 acres with 1,904 sq m of internal floor area.
The catalogue also includes a 20-bedroom hostel in Cape Hill, Smethwick, with a guide price of £400,000 to £450,000, and a former 15-bedroom care home at 137 Kingsbury Road, Erdington, with a guide price of £200,000 to £230,000.
A detached former children’s home, 45 Sutton Road, Erdington, with six bedrooms and a pair of two-bedroom flats also comes under the hammer with a guide price of £325,000.
A former licensed hotel in Edgbaston with 12 bedrooms and a pub in Bordesley Green with eight bedrooms are also on offer.
Mr Darlington said: “The hotel, 127 Portland Road, Edgbaston, has a guide price of £475,000.”