Mystery buyer pays £252,000 for tiny patch of land expected to be sold for just £5,000

A tiny patch of land has been sold at auction for almost £250,000 more than expected. The grassed area, on Wapping Street in the Halliwell area of Bolton, was marketed prior to on line bidding with a guide price of between £5,000 and £10,000.

However, when the bidding stopped on May 15, a mystery buyer paid a whopping £252,000 for the 0.16 acre (0.06 hectare) patch of grassed land in a residential area of the town. Auction House North West, who conducted the auction, said: “Congratulations to the new owner of this prime piece of land off Wapping Street in Bolton.

“The land was guided at £5,000 to £10,000 and a successful bid of £252,000 landed them the 0.16 acre plot of endless possibilities and potential.” No further details of who purchased the land, just off Halliwell Road, have been released.

Marketing material prior to the online auction, which took place over a two-day period earlier this month, said the plot was ‘considered suitable for a variety of uses including development’. When the Local Democracy Reporting Service visited the area this week the roadside plot still had a ‘for sale’ notice pitched in the middle, alongside two ‘No Ball Games’ signs.

There was some litter strewn on the grass with the plot also containing around 10 mature trees. It is understood the land used to contain terraced homes but they were demolished in the 1960s or 1970s with no rebuilding at the site.

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One resident, on nearby Duxbury Street, said she was ‘flabbergasted’ by the amount the plot sold for. She said: “We’ve lived here 34 years and it’s always been open land like that. Obviously it was a row of houses at one time but not for decades.

“I saw it was up for sale and joked to my husband that if we bought it at least we’d have somewhere to park. I’m stunned it’s been sold for so much.”

Another Halliwell resident out walking his dog, said: “£252,000? Wow. That’s surprised me.

“There’s not much green space around here and those mature trees on the land should be protected as there doesn’t appear to be anything wrong with them.”