Re the £10K increase I've seen irrational price rises like that around pubs quite a lot. I think the market is confused around their values. That pub in Berwick I mentioned, the one that went for under £100K, I got in touch with the new owner shortly after he got it, he's an estate agent based mid Northumberland, and as I was talking on the phone to one of his staff, who confirmed it was avaliable, offered £150K, could hear him laughing in the background saying 'tell him I wouldn't accept twice what he's offering'. That was two years ago, it's still empty, an eyesore in the middle of Berwick, a listed building that could easily be trading and making Berwick a better place... To continue the ramble
From the little I've observed of small time developers there seems to be a significant proportion who are basically useless at development but have somehow through the vagaries of the universe come into a wedge of capital they play with in the property market and it affords them a comfortable living, dabbling around whimsical or ill conceive projects which, even if they come into completion making practical no sense to anyone and leaving permanent scars that blight the urban landscape, give a return on investment that keeps the developer fat and slack and believing, against all evidence to the contrary, they are creating a legacy that will be admired by bank accounts to come.
When this type of developer makes a really bad decision on a property, one that leads them to shelling out more than they anticipated or which becomes clear won't return the investment, they try to back out gracefully by putting it on the market for more than they paid for it, reasoning that they shouldn't be penalised financially when it was circumstances rather than their own bad decisions that led to the potential loss making situation... And they should at least, if there is any natural justice in their privileged world, be able to pass the losses they made onto the next purchaser who will be buying a property that's worth a lot more anyway, just because it's been landbanked while in the fallow period it's been subjected to in the dead hands of the thoughtful and visionary dull witted developer