Former Finchley cannabis farm flat sells in just eight days after ‘unprecedented interest’
A flat in Finchley, north London, which had been used as a cannabis farm has sold prior to auction after receiving “unprecedented interest” from potential buyers.
The two-bedroom property on Ballards Lane was due to be auctioned on 15 March, but sold before going under the hammer. According to auctioneers Auction House London, the property sold for more than its guide price of £275,000, just eight working days after the launch of the auction catalogue.
Since being listed, the flat, which showed images of cannabis growing equipment, received significant media attention and record interest from prospective buyers.
At the auction, which took place online, auctioneer Andrew Binstock said: “Never had we had so much press coverage and interest online,” before explaining that the flat had already sold to a developer who is thought to be planning to turn the property into two apartments.
For Auction House London, the sale is testament to the increasing effectiveness of auction as a means of selling. Although properties tend to start at a lower price, they argue that sales through auction can achieve the same or higher prices in a quicker timeframe.
Binstock said: "The beauty of auctions is that whether a property sells on auction day, pre-auction or post-auction, the exchange of contracts takes place immediately, just like it does in the live auction at the fall of the hammer. The deadline of the auction day alone can often create a frenzy of competitive bidding leading to successful pre-auction sales. “
According to the original listing, the property has “been recently used to grow cannabis and requires a program of refurbishment.”
Photos of the property — and a video walk-through — show wires and ducting suspended from the ceiling, passing through the internal walls.
Both of the flat’s bedrooms are shown to contain growing equipment, with their windows blacked out, the walls lined with protective foil and electric fans on the walls.
On the floors are pots filled with soil and stray cannabis leaves.
An Auction House London blog post described the farm as a “sophisticated cannabis growing operation, with hundreds of plants and a range of equipment used to cultivate and process the drug.”
According to the post, the operation was discovered after police received a tip-off from a member of the public. It is currently vacant.
Auction House London said that the property was advertised in its current state as part of their “commitment to transparency”, adding that cleaning up after illegal activities is “not the auction house’s responsibility”.
“We believe in giving our buyers all the information they need to make an informed decision, and it is important to provide a fair representation of the property in its current form.
“We pride ourselves on transparency and honesty in all our dealings and maintain our high standards, even with properties that may have a controversial past.”
The property, located on the second floor of the building, was advertised with planning permission and freeholder’s consent to turn the existing loft space and apartment into two self-contained flats.
It was last sold for £184,000 in 2019, according to Land Registry records.