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Auction house achieves record year after sales of £145m

South England auction house Clive Emson Auctioneers has posted its end of year figures, which boast record sales of £145 million and a catalogue of 1,153 lots.

The family-run firm also reports that it paid a record £850,000 to joint auctioneers.

Among the firm's more unusual lots offered this year have been a secret Second World War air base control tower at RAF Winkleigh, a Cold War nuclear bunker in Chigwell, Essex, and a former toilet block on the seafront near Margate, Kent.

Clive Emson's final four auctions of the year produced sales of £15m and a success rate of over 85%.

“It has been a remarkable year – our biggest to date. Not only have we achieved record sales figures, but we have also moved into Essex and North East London,” comments James Emson, the firm's managing director.

“During 2016 we will be making a big push into our new Essex heartland, with an excellent new venue at the Chelmsford City Racecourse,” he adds.

When it comes to demand from investors, Emson says it has remained strong all year with high market confidence throughout. 

He notes that his organisation has seen a growth in sales from local authorities as 'cash-squeezed' councils seek to generate revenue from property rationalisation.

Emson believes the housing market is likely to remain buoyant in 2016.

The firm's first auctions of 2016 will be during week beginning February 8, with entries closing on January 11.

Another auctioneer, Allsop, held its final auction of 2015 on December 17, raising over £68 million.

This brings the firm's total annual sales figure to over £457 million.

Speaking after the sale, partner and auctioneer, Gary Murphy, said he sensed buyers' eagerness to invest before April's 3% stamp duty hike on buy-to-let and second home purchases.

“There’s no doubt that this will be reflected in prices paid in the new financial year. As a result of that, we are advising our clients to take advantage of our February auction sale,” he said.  

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